United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has stated that schools in Asia focus on promoting education that is narrow, “instrumentalist” and “nationalistic”. The organisation called for a “radical rethinking on schooling” for this purpose.
“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,” said Yoko Mochizuki, who has lead report work by UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP).
The report sought to assess how far the objectives of Sustainable Goals (SDGs) were being inculcated in educational policies and officially mandated curricula in 22 Asian countries. About 172 official documents in 18 languages were analysed based on their common coding scheme along with an extensive review of literature at Asian schools.
Contrary to common perception, South Asian countries were seen to accord the highest weightage to gender equality, according to Mochizuki.