Movement on UN education goals after slow start
Long-term approaches for Māori and Pacific learners, a plan for learning support and an education workforce strategy all form part of Aotearoa New Zealand’s engagement with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
New Zealand is a signatory to the SDGs and the first voluntary reports on how we are tracking to meet our 2030 targets is due this year. The non-government sector, including unions, is also writing a voluntary report, which will be launched this month.
After slow start a plan has begun to emerge
PPTA President Jack Boyle has been working with other NGO representatives on the development of the report, with a focus on SDG 4, Quality Education.
“After a slow start, New Zealand’s engagement with the Sustainable Development Goal for Quality Education has taken some important foundational steps” Jack says. “With key strategies in development, including long-term approaches for Māori and Pacific learners, a plan for early learning, for learning support and an education workforce strategy, a plan for meeting goal 4 has begun to emerge”.
In partnership and with some haste
Since signing the declaration at the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, engagement with the SDGs has not been hugely visible. However, in the last year this has changed considerably. The inaugural SDG summit occurred at Victoria University in 2018 and a steering group of NGOs and unions have been working throughout 2018 -2019 to prepare a Civil Society report which will be presented at a United Nations high level forum alongside the government’s own report. A survey for public input into this report has also been released.
“There is much more that will need to occur, in partnership and with some haste, if the SDGs are to be realised in Aotearoa,” Jack said.
This theme is reflected in the section of the report about Quality Education, which states, “To achieve a long term vision for education in New Zealand which meets the needs of all learners, no matter who they are, or where they come from, we will need a tripartite and sustained commitment to how we get there”.