The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, opened the third National Forum on Education for Sustainable Development today, November 15. Education for sustainable development aims to develop the capacity of Irish citizens to make informed judgments and decisions in favour of actions that lead to a sustainable outcome.
In his address at the opening of the forum, Minister Bruton said: “I have set the ambition to make Ireland’s education and training service the best in Europe within a decade. We can only achieve this goal with responsible, sustainable policies. Indeed our Action Plan for Education sets out how we can build and consolidate progress towards the achievement of a long-term, sustainable programme of change and reform. I look forward to listening to those present today, to hear how their ideas can enrich that progress.”
The purpose of the Forum is to assist the Department in preparing its mid-term review of the National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development in Ireland (2014-2020). The review will ask questions about what is succeeding and what can be improved, based on stakeholders’ experience of the Strategy to date. The chair for the Forum is education journalist John Walshe. Duncan Stewart of Green Foundation Ireland and Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE) were among the contributors at the launch.
The launch is an action under the Department of Education and Skills’ National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development (2014-2020) and also under the Action Plan for Education (2016 – 2019). The National Strategy outlines that a challenge has been identified “in relation to third level research on sustainable development”. The report also states that “higher education should equip students with the knowledge, skills and values to motivate and empower them to live more sustainably”.