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Global Schools Program 2021: A Year in Review

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

Written by Kannan Reghunathan Nair

2021 was an exciting year for the Global Schools Program, with tremendous growth and momentum. The network expanded to more countries and created strong partnerships with schools and educators in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) across the globe.

Photo Credit: Katja Malinowski, GS Advocate, Berlin, Germany

In the new year, Global Schools looks back on key highlights of 2021.

The Global Schools Program raised its profile with essential work supporting Mission 4.7. In 2021, the Global Schools network expanded to 89 countries, encompassing 1,270 schools, 99,652 educators, and 1,171,000 students, with a growth rate for the year of 35.5%. Among the schools that have taken the pledge to integrate sustainable development education, 63% of the schools are private by definition of national contexts and 37% are public schools. 7% of the schools self-identify as international schools.

In 2021, the Global Schools Program launched the first Advocates Program for educators by carrying out free training for 177 teachers from 50+ countries.

One hundred forty advocates completed the program requirements and reached 27,500 students with lessons and activities, engaging 6,800+ teachers in the work of global schools.

Advocates conducted 2,300+ lesson plans in classrooms, and 3,500+ educators participated in Global Schools Workshops.

Global Schools published eight translations of the Global Schools lesson plans in Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic, French, Bengali, Greek, and Georgian. With the added translations, Global Schools has increased available lesson plans from 60 to 540, for a total increase of 800%. The team has additionally created activities guides and other content resources for Advocates that are compiled in the new Advocates Toolkit, which is a step-by-step resource to guide the implementation of sustainable development in schools.

The Global Schools Program launched an online MOOC on Teaching the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically used as the Global Schools Advocates Program training. In 2021, 504 teachers/educators completed the training (53% female). The MOOC was also adapted to reach educators in areas with limited internet connectivity.

Global Schools team members have spoken at over 25+ events on the importance of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and held 15 professional development and networking sessions for the wider community.

In May, Global Schools participated in the UNESCO World Conference on ESD and launched four reports on the Global Schools Pilot Projects in Ghana, Morocco, and Turkey.

The Global Schools Program is incredibly proud to induct the second cohort of teacher Advocates, which includes approximately 300 advocates from 80+ countries who are currently completing their advocacy term.

The team looks forward to an impactful year in 2022.


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