John O’Dowd goes back to school for World’s Largest Lesson

Date published: 30 September 2015

Education Minister John O’Dowd has joined pupils at Beechlawn Special School in Hillsborough for the World’s Largest Lesson.

The Global initiative taking place in schools across the world this week, sees local pupils participating in lessons about global goals and how they can play a part in ending extreme poverty, fighting inequality and injustice and fixing climate change.

Speaking during his visit to the school, the Minister said:

“The idea is simple but the vision is huge. If every school in the world teaches a lesson about the Global Goals, we then create a generation that can change the world.

One of the goals, a Quality Education, is something I strive for every day. Education is the cornerstone of any society and can help deliver on the other global goals such as Good Health; Jobs and Economic Growth; Peace and Justice; and protecting the planet.”

The World’s Largest Lesson is being held in classrooms on every continent during the week of 28 September. It provides a unique opportunity to foster global citizenship in schools across the world and involves 103 Ministries of Education including Cuba, New Zealand, Cambodia and the north of Ireland.

Continuing Minister O’Dowd said:

“This is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the problems facing people across the globe and to develop understanding of the role of our young people in the wider world.

I am delighted to be at Beechlawn School today and I would like to thank Principal Barbara Green for the invitation. It is always a pleasure to visit schools and meet with the young people and staff but today’s lesson has particular poignancy given the news events and pictures reported in recent weeks.

Today’s lesson has no doubt started everyone thinking about how we all can contribute to making our planet a fairer, healthier and more sustainable place by 2030 and I am delighted that many of our local schools felt this was a lesson worth having.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Organised by screenwriter Richard Curtis, together with children’s charity Unicef, and backed by TES, the World’s Largest Lesson project aims to communicate the new Global Development Goals to as many schoolchildren as possible, within the space of a single week.
  2. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign promotes the value of education. This year’s campaign aims to ensure that parents have information on schooling and that they are aware of the steps they can take to ‘Get Involved’ and support their teenager in achieving good outcomes at school. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  3. See photos from the Department of Education in our Flickr collection
  4. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 99 715 440, and your call will be returned.

Share this page

Back to top