Antara, Jakarta – United Nations Resident Coordinator (UNRC) in Indonesia, Valerie Julliand, on Tuesday highlighted the importance of education for the lives of Indonesians and for ensuring the stability of the nation.
"Everything starts with education," she said after a signing ceremony for an educational collaboration between the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Indonesia Global Compact Network (IGCN).
She said that education is very important for the community because it can have a major impact on a country's peace and stability. Education also has a big impact on nation-building.
"People who are educated know better to take care of themselves and their children," she added.
Therefore, she considered the collaboration on education carried out by UNESCO and IGCN to be a very important initiative for humanity, especially because this also involves many educational institutions from various religious organizations.
"This initiative and particularly one also that brings together different religions, so that we dwell on this very principle of tolerance and acceptance of others with differences, is essential," Julliand said.
She further described the collaboration as a breakthrough that will initiate collaboration across religions and education sectors.
This collaboration, she said, also will help realize the target of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Number 17, which is about the importance of partnerships for achieving goals.
"The main important feature of the SDGs is that they are interdependent, you can never achieve one is to achieve if you don't achieve the other one," she said.
"You need education to fight poverty. You need education to have decent jobs. You need education to have peace and stability. So, in that sense, this partnership is very essential," she added.
Director of the UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific Mohamed Djelid also expressed optimism that the collaboration will have a positive impact on education in Indonesia.
"The government alone, your school alone, couldn't go alone. We cannot achieve anything. It has to be a partnership," he said.
The collaboration between UNESCO and IGCN is an effort to improve access and the quality of education through capacity building and training of teachers and school principals to improve school management, in line with the national curriculum.
The collaboration also aims to support the collaboration that has been underway between Kupuku Indonesia, Malang Diocese Carmel Foundation, and the Ma'arif NU Banyuwangi Education Institute, an interfaith-based collaborative program in the field of education.