Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation said.” If we want to reach real peace in this world, we should start educating children”
In September 2016, world leaders, including PM Narendra Modi,will mark the first anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These Global Goals are a global plan to end poverty, reduce inequalities and combat the threat of climate change by 2030.
The World’s Largest Lesson provides a unique opportunity for children and young people to engage with the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Launched in September 2015, lessons have taken place in 160 countries. Participating schools used original learning materials about the Global Goals that were translated into 25 languages. The materials included lesson plans, comic books and an animated film introduced by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, tennis champion Serena Williams and international football star Neymar Jr. In India alone, the World’s Largest Lesson reached an estimated 3 million children who watched an animation film on the Global Goals.
On the occasion of National Teachers Day, 250 eminent educationalists, UN Global Goals champions, members of civil society, UN bodies, corporates, youth groups, students, teachers and one of the esteemed ambassadors of the World’s Largest Lesson, actor and youth icon Sonam Kapoor,gathered at GEMS Academy, Gurgaon, to launch The World’s Largest Lesson India,the India chapter of the programme, which aims to teach every child in India – nearly 360 million – a lesson about the Global Goals.
Powered by India partner GEMS Education, the world’s largest K-12 private education provider, and implemented in partnership with UNICEF,The World’s Largest Lesson India will encourage schools to teach at least one lesson on the Global Goals, to make sure children understand and are empowered by the commitments their country has made to ending poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030. Schools are then encouraged to support students to take action to help achieve the goals.
India is a global leader economically and in technology, and has every potential to become a front-runner in ending poverty. The country is at the crossroads of transformation. With over a quarter of the world’s population being under the age of 14 years and with India having the largest youth population in the world, children and young people will be most affected by the implementation of the goals.
The World’s Largest Lesson is an initiative by Project Everyone, an organisation conceived by Writer, Director, Comic Relief Cofounder &UN SDG Advocate Richard Curtis to make the Global Goals famous, so that they stand the greatest chance of being achieved.
GEMS Education is the founding strategic partner for The World’s Largest Lesson India campaign and powers all activities in India. Speaking about their association, Amreesh Chandra, Group President of GEMS Education said: “With India accounting to nearly 17% of the world’s population, we have a strategic and resourceful advantage to reshape the world’s priorities, provided we are equipped to understand and execute them effectively. “
UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said: “The World’s Largest Lesson will do more than teach children about the global goals. It will engage them in the effort to achieve those goals – educating them about the challenges that are shaping their futures and encouraging them to drive change in their own communities. Young people can help achieve the global goals by holding their leaders accountable for the promises they are making – and by holding themselves accountable for building a better future for everyone.”
During the event a number of individuals, corporates and organisations confirmed to take action to support the World’s Largest Lesson India
Leading the support is Reliance Group, who were also the first corporate partner for the 2015 India campaign. This year, the group shall promote The World Largest Lesson India initiative through its various customer-facing platforms.Other notable pledges came from NGOs; Akshaya Patra, the world’s largest free midday meal programme reaching over 1.4 million children in India, Save the Children; and youth and education empowerment organisations such as The Global Education & Leadership Foundation (tGELF).
The World’s Largest Lesson initiative has already attracted support from influential leaders and public figures including Emma Watson, actor and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador and Sonam Kapoor
Sonam Kapoor said: “The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Values and lessons taught early in the childhood can lead to a better understanding and emphasis for a child on his/her future”
The World’s Largest Lesson India comic books are available to download in English from The World’s Largest Lesson India website. Regional Indian language versions of the comic books will be available to download from the website from mid-October 2016.