A weeklong programme has begun to inform children about the new international development goals 

SDGs: In a week starting yesterday, students in schools across the country will learn about the new development goals that the United Nations member countries adopted on September 25.

As part of the campaign to create awareness on the Sustainable Development Goals post 2015, the programme called the World’s Largest Lesson aims to reach 500 million children within a week.

During the week, more than 100 countries would inform children on the new goals.

Declaring the week open, education minister Mingbo Dukpa gave a mock lesson to students of Rinchen Kuenphen Primary School in Thimphu yesterday.

“Under the leadership of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, Bhutan has successfully achieved most of the MDGs and significantly fulfilled the Gross National Happiness vision,” the minister said.

He said the launch affirms Bhutan’s commitment to pursuing the middle path and sustainable development.

Lyonpo said the government is trying to complete the two goals that remain incomplete and work towards securing a sustainable future.

The new global goals for sustainable development, he said, largely echo Bhutan’s GNH philosophy, a vision that the Fourth Druk Gyalpo envision 45 years ago.

The 17 SDG goals are no poverty, zero hunger, good health and wellbeing, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water and life on land, peace justice and strong institutions, and partnerships for the goals.

A UNICEF representative said the goals place children at the heart of the development thus, it is important for them to understand the goals and contribute in achieving them. About a quarter of the world population are children under 14 years.

In 2000, the Millennium Development Goals were created to focus on eight key issues in international development.

In 2015, the United Nations announced a renewal of its purpose through the new global goals for sustainable development.

This programme is one of the activities to create awareness on the new goals. Another campaign, Project Everyone, targets to communicate the new goals to seven billion people in seven days after their adoption by the UN.

Teachers can download and use teaching aides such as videos, lesson plans, and other materials from the ministry’s website.

Schools will submit a report to the school education director general on how the programme was implemented after the week.

Tshering Palden