Kiran Bir Sethi: “Education has an important role in making children agents of change”

SEK Education Group has hosted workshops entitled “Growing up empowered. An empowerment hub experience”. The objective of the workshops -held at the SEK International School Catalunya- was to emphasise how the younger generations can contribute to the transformation of society accompanied by an educational model that has the task of adapting to an era of new demands and diverse realities.

In this context, we interviewed Kiran Bir Sethi, founder of the Riverside School in Ahmedabad (India) and Design for Change (DFC), which extends globally to reach 60 countries, 2.2 million children and over 65,000 teachers. Design for Change is recognised by the UN as a promoter of the SDGs.


Question.- How can future generations contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals from education?

Answer.- The moment you feel empowered and feel like you have a system based on the willingness to take action and the skills to back it up, then you can make an impact, even if the problem is too big or difficult. So, while we’re not telling kids to change THE world, we’re definitely giving them the confidence to change THEIR world. And the small acts of change that you do in your own world, in your own community, in your own homes, gives you the confidence that one day you will be able to address these tremendous problems that the world has.


Q.- Why is it important to discuss these issues?

A.- Well, we live in the world and the world is made up of all these complex ideas, and the solutions can only come from people, so we are part of the problem or the solution. I think it’s important to recognise which side of the coin you want to be on. Do you want to contribute to the problem, or do you want to be part of the solution? So, the moment you are aware that the world is fractured, the world is hurt, then you can definitely be the balm, you can heal it.


Q.- What is the role of education in the Sustainable Development Goals?

A.- The main role of education towards the SDGs is to raise awareness and provide children with experiences to understand what these goals really are and who are the ones who are going to achieve them. And so, I think it’s important for kids to have the will to act on what they’re worried about. Education plays the role of raising awareness, but I think it can play an even more important role in getting children to be agents of change in addressing a particular goal and fully understanding it, making sure they are putting their change projects into action and facilitating let them happen.



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