UNESCO analysis indicates there is a gap in teacher-capacity to deliver an ESD-integrated curriculum

08 June 2017

Reports submitted to UNESCO indicate that while it is increasingly becoming mandatory in the curriculum, further efforts are required to incorporate ESD into teacher education

UNESCO commissioned an analysis of the country reports to the fourth and fifth consultations on the implementation of the Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Cooperation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (1974) in light of Target 4.7 of the Sustainable Development Goal on Education. The analysis included 57 reports from 2012. These series of key findings are presented ahead of the forthcoming data from 2016.

Data from 2012 reveals that in 33% of reporting countries the delivery of ESD-related concepts as part of the curriculum was mandatory. The percentage of the countries with mandatory climate change education or environmental education in the curriculum was 26% in 2012. Meanwhile, when reporting on the inclusion of ESD in teacher education, only 7% of countries reported it as mandatory.

This suggests there is a significant gap in the capacities of teachers to deliver an ESD-integrated curriculum. More than 51% of countries reported ESD as part of their national curriculum in 2012 and a growing number of countries have mandatory ESD-related curriculum. Adequate in-service and pre-service teacher training should be provided to support the delivery of this curriculum and to ensure the quality of education for sustainable development.

UNESCO has received 82 country reports with data from 2016 and data will be available by mid-2017.

As the world moves forward on the implementation of the Education 2030 Agenda, UNESCO is committed to monitoring the progress towards the achievement of Target 4.7, with a focus on Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship. Regular reports, news, analyses, publications and links to data sets produced by UNESCO and its partner provide evidence that indicate how the world is progressing towards the achievement of the Target.