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Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Written by Abigail Chifusa, Global Schools Project Officer

The STAR Global School Education Conference, held on the 19th and 20th of May 2023 at the Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi, India, was a remarkable gathering of educators, policymakers, researchers, and industry experts from across the world. With the theme of "Education for a Sustainable Future," the conference aimed to foster discussions and exploration of innovative approaches to transform education systems and empower learners to contribute to a sustainable and thriving future.

One individual who had the privilege of attending this insightful event was Pankaj Rathore, Global Schools Advocate and Mentor, and the Vice Principal of Seth Anandram Jaipuria School in Lucknow. Alongside his team of dedicated teachers, Rathore had the opportunity to participate in various sessions and engage in enlightening discussions. He was also fortunate enough to share his views on the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined in Agenda 2030, emphasizing the significance of values, ethics, and a strong student-teacher connection in achieving these goals.

In an exclusive interview, Pankaj Rathore emphasized the significance of sustainability. He expressed his strong belief in its importance, stating, "Talking about sustainability, it is the only thing we can do now because we only have just one planet. We are here to promote the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Before we had the Millennium Development Goals, and now we have the Sustainable Development Goals. The constraint is that not many people know about these SDGs, and we need to complete these goals by the year 2030. With such conferences, we are going to reach at least thousands of people, creating awareness about sustainability."

Rathore emphasized the need to preserve the rich culture and diversity seen in their country, stating that practices, ethics, and promoting values should be kept at the forefront, especially in challenging times. He believes that education plays a crucial role in instilling these values in students, preparing them to face any adversity that may come their way.

The conference provided a dynamic platform for sharing innovative ideas, best practices, and collaborative approaches in the field of education. Participants from different corners of the globe gathered to exchange knowledge and explore ways to incorporate sustainability into educational systems. Throughout the event, plenary sessions addressed various dimensions of education for a sustainable future, offering valuable insights into curriculum development, pedagogical approaches, and the integration of sustainability into educational frameworks.

Renowned educators and experts shared their experiences and expertise, highlighting the importance of incorporating sustainability into the daily curriculum. Participants had the opportunity to attend sessions covering a wide range of topics related to sustainable education, including the importance of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). These sessions delved into innovative teaching methodologies, project-based learning, digital technologies, and community engagement as means to promote sustainable practices and achieve the SDGs outlined in Agenda 2030.

A significant moment during the conference was the Schools and Teachers Excellence Awards, where outstanding educators and schools were recognized for their contributions to promoting sustainable education. In this August gathering of education leaders, Pankaj Rathore's school, Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, emerged as the winner in the category of Best School Promoting Skill Development. The school's commitment to providing its students with a sustainable skill-based education was acknowledged and celebrated.

The STAR Global School Education Conference served as a beacon of hope, bringing together passionate individuals who are dedicated to creating a sustainable future through education. The event facilitated meaningful conversations, inspired collaboration, and fostered a shared commitment to equip learners with the skills and knowledge necessary to address the challenges of the 21st century. As the conference came to a close, participants left with renewed determination to transform education systems worldwide and empower learners to become responsible global citizens capable of shaping a sustainable and thriving future. Pankaj Rathore is also ready to take on new challenges and keep promoting ESD. At GSP we are proud to recognize his work and to continue supporting his journey.