Sustainable development and workers ability
Considerations on the education index in the human development index
Sustainability is an imperative of the 21st century in order to preserve the environment for the next generations, but sustainable development also requires the introduction and use of new technologies, and the related abilities for their use. The United Nations have adopted the Human Development Index HDI in order to assess human well-being. This index includes a component related to knowledge, the Education Index, which is expressed in terms of the mean schooling years. However, this information does not contain a measure of the student's ability to solve complex problems or ability to reason, which are fundamental skills for sustainable development. In this study, an improved version of the Education Index was developed by considering the data available from the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This new index takes into account both the social impact of schooling years and the outcomes of the education systems for each country (PISA scores). As a consequence of this new Education Index, a new Human Development Index, HDI*, is proposed. Two case studies were performed, comparing the European and non-European countries, focusing on government education spending. Moreover, the trends of an energy and an environmental indicator are analyzed in relation to the HDI*.