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Using the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals

Edutopia – Jodie Deinhammer

“Each year I start out with the same question for my students: What is the biggest issue you think our world faces, and what can we do to solve it? This challenge-based learning approach allows my students to design our class and focus on real-world issues. With their ideas, we build our class projects together. Students next identify a problem in our own community. We discuss all of their ideas and then look at the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Using this resource, we investigate the problems they identify and compare them to world issues. For example, a few years ago, students decided that childhood obesity was a problem in our community.”(more)

UN: Multilingual Education Is ‘Absolutely Essential’

Language Magazine – Staff Writer

“Learning languages is a promise of peace, innovation, and creativity and will contribute to the achievement of global development goals, the head of the United Nations agency for culture and education said last month to mark International Mother Language Day. “There can be no authentic dialogue or effective international cooperation without respect for linguistic diversity, which opens up true understanding of every culture,” said UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural.”(more)

UN warns ‘no progress’ on 260 million missing school places

BBC – Sean Coughlan

“Global pledges to provide education for all young people show little chance of being achieved, according to annual figures from the United Nations. There are 264 million young people without access to school, with few signs of progress, says Unesco. Around the world, almost one in 10 children does not even have access to primary level education. The UN agency says wider access to education would radically reduce poverty and improve security. The annual Global Education Monitoring Report tracks the numbers of young people in school and measures progress in international promises to ensure access to education.”(more)

Investing in girls could unlock billions of dollars for national economies : U.N. agency

Reuters – Zoe Tabary

“Around the world, 16 million girls between the ages of six and 11 never start school, many because they are married off or forced to work to help their families financially, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said in a report. It said developing countries could reap a dividend of $21 billion a year if all 10-year-old girls completed secondary education, echoing studies that show a correlation between improved literacy for girls and higher earnings later in life. “Education is the world’s best investment. Whenever a girl’s potential goes unrealized, we all lose,” Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of UNFPA, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in a phone interview.”(more)

Every child deserves the Best Start to create the brightest future

The Huffington Post – Staff Writer

“Five things are needed as part of a child’s basic care: good nutrition, health care, learning, play and protection (and of course love when providing all of these). By the time a child reaches the age of five about 90% of its brain development is complete. It is clear that busy stimulation and learning is needed from day one to give every child the best start in life. In these early years, a child’s brain develops 700 new neural connections every second – the highest rate of development during an individual’s lifetime. Thankfully, with an increased focus on early years and new research our knowledge of brain development and the inherent potential of all children is growing almost as fast! So the excuses need to stop – we cannot ignore investment in this area any longer.”(more)

UN Chinese Language Day: 10 amazing facts that will make you want to learn Chinese

India Today – Staff Writer

“April 20 is celebrated as Chinese Language Day worldwide. At present, one out of five people around the world understand the language. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) identified the date in 2010 to “to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization”. Here are 10 amazing facts about the Chinese language:”(more)