As a form of commitment in supporting the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the implementation of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), the Directorate of Community Service at Universitas Gadjah Mada as the coordinator of RCE Yogyakarta had the opportunity to join the ICT-Enabled In-Service Training of Teacher to Address Education for Sustainability (ICTeEfS). ICTeEfS was initiated and coordinated by Prof. Dr. Vassilios Makrakis from the School of Education & Social Sciences, Frederick University Cyprus who is the UNESCO Chairholder for ICT in Education for Sustainable Development. This activity is part of the European Comission Erasmus+ Capacity Building for Higher Education (CBHE) funded program. In addition to Frederick University who is the program coordinator, there are eight other Higher Education Institutions that are members of this ICTeEfS activity, namely the University of Crete, RCE Crete Greece, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, Open University Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, UniversitI Teknologi Malaysia, International University Vietnam, and University of Social Sciences and Humanities Vietnam.
The big theme of this activity is the Application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to support Education for Sustainable Development. This ICTeEfS activity is a program to contextualize ICT in Education for Sustainable Development to fill the gaps that hinder policies in building a sustainable society both locally and nationally. One of the main activities in implementing these objectives is by integrating the concept of SDGs into lesson plans for certain courses through the applicable methodology and curriculum. For this reason, 7 out of 9 partner universities are education-based universities where students are expected to become teachers or educators in the future.
Prof. Ir. Irfan Dwidya Prijambada, M.Eng., Ph.D. as coordinator of RCE Yogyakarta said, “This is one of UGM’s efforts to promote Sustainable Development Goals through educational interventions. This intervention is carried out by developing ESD-based education and learning for all levels of education, in this case is high school.” He believes that education and learning are strategic means to provide knowledge, awareness, and abilities, as well as to improve student behavior towards sustainability. “As a response, training and assistance in the development of ESD-based programs or learning methods are required, one of which is the mastery of information and communication technology (ICT) as a supporter,” he added.
Technology, political control, and financial systems alone will not be enough to accomplish sustainable development. “We need to change our way of thinking and acting, especially with the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has drastically altered the educational landscape globally. This, in turn, needs the provision of high-quality training and education for sustainable development at all levels,” said Nanung Agus Fitriyanto, S.Pt., M.Sc., Ph.D, as the manager of the UGM team for ICTeEfS.
More details regarding information on ICT-enabled In-Service Training of Teachers to Address Education for Sustainability activities can be accessed on https://icteefs.frederick.ac.cy/