Minister of Education of Cambodia addresses UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development

His Excellency Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport of Cambodia participated in the ministerial roundtable on the implementation of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for 2030 during UNESCO World Conference on ESD held virtually from 17-19 May 2021. The virtual conference was attended by 2500 stakeholders from around the world including policy-makers in education and other areas related to sustainable development, ESD practitioners, NGOs, experts, members of the development community and representatives of the private sector.

During the roundtable on 18 May, Dr. Hang Chuon Naron emphasized the Royal Government of Cambodia’s political commitment to the Sustainable Development Agenda and its determination to contribute to the global efforts aimed at leaving no one and no country behind. He also mentioned that Cambodia looks forward to joining other countries to promote the proposed commitments of the Berlin Declaration on ESD.

When it comes to the implementation of ESD at country level, His Excellency the Minister noted that ESD is fully integrated into the SDG 4 Education 2030 roadmap, the Education Strategic Plan, and the Education Response to COVID, by focusing on creating a new normal for education, which include: (1) school sanitation and protection against COVID, (2) continuous school reforms, (3) promotion of digital education and blended learning, (4) prioritization of Teacher Training Centers’ reform, (5) building capacity for special education, and (6) provision of scholarships to poor students.

In her remarks, Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, said, “We are not facing the war of the world. We are facing the war against ourselves. For too long we are ignoring the fact the health of human beings depends on the health of environment and we continue the business as usual. We must change our lifestyles, our economies, our mindsets to develop values based on respect for nature. And these efforts the change behavior for the long term are made possible only through education.”

In light of the pressing environmental issues and other challenges the world is facing, the Conference will create a momentum for the new framework ESD for 2030. The framework aims to strengthen ESD by building education systems that support learners of all ages to be responsible and active contributors to more sustainable societies and a healthy planet.

 

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