NEW DELHI: The purpose of schooling was conceived in narrow “instrumentalist” and “nationalistic” terms across Asia, according to a UNESCO report. The report on the state of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), which was released here today, called for a “radical rethinking on schooling”.
“The study shows that the purpose of schooling is conceived in narrow instrumentalist and nationalistic terms across much of Asia. The school curricula in many countries surveyed do not emphasise the idea of critical and engaged citizens,” revealed Yoko Mochizuki from the UNESCO MGIEP, who has led the work on the report.
Building on the content analysis of 172 official documents in 18 languages, based on a common coding scheme and an extensive literature review on Asian schooling, the report seeks to assess how far the aims and values encapsulated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were incorporated into the educational policies and officially-mandated curricula of 22 Asian countries.
Mochizuki further said that one of the many interesting findings of the reports was that contrary to the popular perception, the countries that accorded the highest weightage to gender equality were concentrated in South Asia.