In 2015, the international community signed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to reach a better and equal society, as well as care for their ecosystems by 2030. Among the 17 goals, the fourth was established to be Quality Education, aiming to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” (United Nations, 2017).
How universities have been addressing the SDGs
At the halfway point, and aware of the remaining challenges to achieve the SDGs, higher education institutions (HEIs) around the globe have a critical role to engage with the SDGs in their everyday pedagogical and administrative practices, across subjects and work fields, in three main fronts:
Education planning (teaching, learning, research)
External leadership and impact
To assist HEIs in concretizing their education planning concerning the SDGs, Eduix and HeadAi have developed an unique artificial intelligence (AI)-based Scorecard capable of analyzing HEI’s education programs and curricula in regards to the SDGs.
The objective of the panel discussion was to share experiences and working practices around EdTech issues, share ways how African countries are supporting ICT-oriented education and explore possibilities in regional cooperation. Below you find my contribution to the panel session based on the Recommendation Paper written in collaboration with Dr. Altti Lagstedt during the Edupreneurs project.
Our goal with this recommendation paper is to share the lessons learned from the project Edupreneurs: Networking and Empowering Education Entrepreneurs Towards a Resilient EdTech Ecosystem. The project was undertaked in Southern Africa, funded by the Southern Africa Innovation Support (SAIS 2) programme.
Sustainable Me is our Artificial-Intelligence (AI) tool that profiles students’ competences and interests, so they can efficiently transform their learning paths into professional skills. The tool was developed in partnership with HeadAI. Our business cooperation has also resulted in another AI tool: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) AI-scorecard for assessing the extent that education curricula address the SDGs.
Imagine this …
Marek is a Polish student starting his Degree Programme in Medicine. Priya is an India company employee willing to advance on her job position. Taru wants to radically change her career in Finland, from programmer to engineer. Despite their differences, they are all about to ask themselves: what should I learn next?
Sustainable Me is a tool to help students, employees, and career changers to understand:
what professional competences they already have,
what competences they want and need to learn,
and what paths they can take to reach their goals.
The users build their skills’ profile based on their hobbies, education, jobs and careers, and the tool transforms the users’ interests into actionable learning paths.
Now that a new academic year/semester is about to start, the hot topic of the past weeks has been how to proceed with the reopening of schools amid the Covid-19 pandemic, taking into consideration the implications of it for the population health and education. Among teachers, parents, school leaders, and academic researchers there seems to coexist opposite, but also complementary, opinions.
So far, children who attend kindergarten and initial years of primary education seem to be the safest cohort of pupils to come back to school routines thanks to the shared evidence that the vast majority of them do not suffer from hard symptoms due to the virus. Additionally, parents with younger children might need a faster return of them to school activities, so parents can have better conditions to work. However, although younger children are safer to be exposed to physical and face-to-face socialization, they can also be potential carriers and spread the virus among family members, affecting mostly the ones who are in the risk groups (e.g. grandparents who take care of them).