The Global Dimension in Schools NI is the Northern Ireland regional project for Department for International Development DFID's EES (Enabling Effective Support) initiative. The main aim of the initiative is to provide educators with effective and sustained support to incorporate the global dimension into the teaching of all Northern Ireland Curriculum subjects.

The Global Dimension in Schools NI:

‘...aims to raise awareness and understanding of how global issues affect the everyday lives of individuals, communities and societies and how all of us can and do influence the global'.



The world that today's children are growing up in is changing rapidly. Climate change and changes in the world's economy, in local community dynamics and in global politics are some examples. The world that children will take charge of as adults will have changed further still.

So how do you, your school, organisation or authority respond to the challenge of educating young people in a changing, globalised society? What are the local opportunities for learning to respond appropriately to a changing world?

When DFID was established as a new government department in 1997 it stated in its first White Paper (Eliminating World Poverty - A Challenge for the 21st Century) that, ‘Every child should be educated about development issues, so that they can understand the key global considerations which will shape their lives'.

The two clear tasks in education which are key to achieving this aim are:

- to give every child in the UK the chance to learn about the issues that shape the world;

- to support teachers in developing young people's understanding and capabilities that are vital in shaping that world.



In response to the many interlinking causes of poverty, the Millennium Development Goals were adopted at the UN in September 2000. These are:


The member states have pledged to meet the goals by 2015, as we know, whilst there is some progress, they are unlikely to be met. It is up to us as educators to enable young people to learn the mechanisms to become activists and advocates, reminding their governments of their promises and responsibilities. Many of the MDGs have already been addressed in schools, with the Make Poverty History campaign, Send My Friend to School Campaign, work on World Aids Day and most schools now have policies relating to sustainable development. However, the Global Dimension will help embed the MDGs into the curriculum more effectively, ensuring that young people understand the reasons for the MDGs existence, and the causes of the problems they address. 

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