Hrithik to do his bit for cause of education

Published On: 2015-08-12

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Hrithik to do his bit for cause of education


By: Rini Mukkath

He has been roped in as brand ambassador by World’s Largest Lesson Plan.

The recent United Nations General Assembly meeting discussed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or Global Goals, one of which is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

The World’s Largest Lesson Plan, delivered in partnership with UNICEF, is part of an effort to achieve this educational goal. In India, the project has the potential to reach over six million children, organisers say.

The organisation told The Hindu that Hrithik Roshan, actor, would be the brand ambassador for the initiative in India. “As a father, I believe that all children should have access to good education, and through this education, they learn how to take care of themselves and others. I hope we can educate the masses about this incredible event and initiative and the vast opportunities in our country that allow us to push our limits,” he said.

In a short film, Hrithik will ask children to think about how they can solve the problems of poverty, inequality and climate change. The leading figures who will play this role in other parts of the world are Malala Yousafzia, Serena Williams, Neymar Jr, Dani Alves and Kolo Touré.

In an off-shoot of the programme, international mountain bike racers will distribute 17 U.N. Global Goal flags to some of the world’s hardest-to-reach communities. The cyclists will take the U.N. Global Goal flag for quality education up to 11,000 feet above ground, reaching several thousand children in remote villages.

Started by Project Everyone, founded by Richard Curtis, film-maker, the World’s Largest Lesson Plan will create interactive lesson plans that educators can use in the curriculum and help spread awareness of the Global Goals.

In an introductory video, Mr. Curtis says, “Every teacher in every country will have some resource and be part of this plan to actually let a whole new generation know about the goals. We want to create a context in which schools are excited and interested about the goals.”

Free to download

All of the initiative’s lesson materials are accessible online — free to download from its website or Facebook. “In 2014, the U.N. carried out a survey of young people called ‘A World We Want’ to understand what children and young people feel most strongly about. This revealed that they believed the educational goal is the most critical to sustainable development. The World’s Largest Lesson Plan introduces all Global Goals to children, but does have specific lessons about the value of education for girls and boys and the right that all children have to it,” Alison Bellwood, programme director, says. In India, youth groups are engaged to teach children in five States. Another plan is to film the lessons to promote this campaign.

“Children have a part to play in achieving the goals and so the World’s Largest Lesson Plan is also about young people to get involved with organisations that promote change and by running projects of change themselves. Even the smallest actions can collectively make a big difference,” Ms. Bellwood says.

The lessons have had to be carefully curated and made region-specific. “Lesson plans have been created by education experts, teachers and organisations from around the world, including India, to make sure they are relevant for children everywhere,” she says.

“We wanted to inspire children to make them feel part of a big movement for change in the world; so our animation was written by Sir Ken Robinson, the acclaimed creative educationalist and animated by Oscar-winning Aardman.”

A to-do list

Organisers are hopeful that making it part of morning assemblies in schools and the curriculum will help. “The first step is to tell everyone about the Global Goals and make them famous and we are aiming to do this in seven days. We want people across the world to become interested in this new ‘to-do’ list for people and planet and to take part in achieving them by joining organisations like Global Citizen and by engaging more with development issues,” Ms. Bellwood says.

“We are measuring awareness of the Global Goals at six monthly intervals over the next few years. We will also be gathering evidence from social media engagement on platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram,” she says.