UNESCO New Zealand to reward global citizenship projects

Issue: Volume 97, Number 3

Posted: 26 February 2018
Reference #: 1H9hav

The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO has established an award to recognise New Zealanders, including teachers, who are driving education projects that encourage students to become active global citizens.

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is an international agency that encourages coordination and cooperation in education, natural and social sciences, culture, communication and information. UNESCO’s representative body here in New Zealand places a strong emphasis on global citizenship education.

The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO wants to celebrate projects that empower learners to think about and take action on global challenges, and help learners see themselves as part of a global community.

The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO Award in Global Citizenship Education comes with a $3,000 cash prize, which can be used to help schools achieve their global citizenship project goals. 

The Award is guided by United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4.7(external link).

In 2015 the United Nations committed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and 169 specific targets. The first five of these goals, for example, are:

  • No poverty
  • Zero hunger
  • Good health and wellbeing
  • Quality education
  • Gender equality

More information on the Sustainable Development Goals(external link)

SDG 4.7 states: “By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development”. Guided by this goal, Robyn Baker, Chair of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO says that they want to encourage schools to make a positive impact within their communities.

“At the heart of what we’re trying to do is highlight all the great work that’s being done across the country, and encourage groups of all ages to work together to make a positive impact in their communities, in terms of making progress toward one of the bigger goals of our time – whether that’s local, regional, national, or global.”

“We want to align with the Environmental Education for Sustainability Strategy and Action Plan(external link), which the Government put out last year.

“This Award will celebrate all the great collaborations in the sustainability space.”

The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO is looking for projects like a classroom identifying issues in their own communities and linking them to issues in other places around the world, then taking action to solve them.

Robyn hopes that the recognition bestowed on the winners of the Award will help to inspire others to get their own projects off the ground. Just as importantly, says Robyn, she hopes that ideas will spread.

“We’re also wanting to strengthen the national network of people who are actively involved in global citizenship education, and it’s a great result if that means that schools form connections with other community groups and science agencies.”

Applying for the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO Award in Global Citizenship Education

Deadline for application is 5pm, 19 March 2018.

Winners will receive a cash prize; their work will be promoted nationally and internationally and a representative from each winning submission will be supported to attend an awards ceremony in Wellington.

All entries will have the opportunity to have their work promoted by the National Commission, even if they are not chosen by an Award. Please see the checklist at the end of the application form.

For more information including an application pack, visit the NZ National Commission for UNESCO website(external link).

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 9:00 am, 26 February 2018

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