Building peace in the minds of men and women

UNESCO training helps teachers in Africa discuss climate change

Teaching about climate change is a challenge for many teachers. To help educators discuss the subject in and outside the classroom, UNESCO developed a four day training course. The first training was held from 8 to 11 October 2013 in Grahamstown, South Africa for 29 educators from Southern and Eastern Africa.

The course was particularly useful to me, because I learned the basic science of climate change. But most importantly, I learned how to prepare a lesson plan for a climate change education class and how to conduct a field trip”, summarizes Raphael Bhembe from Swaziland. His colleague Joshua Kiama Wambugu from Kenya adds “The training programme has offered an excellent learning experience both indoors and through field exercise. The interaction with the participants was awesome.”

Aiming to help educators discuss the global as well as the local impact of climate change, the course introduces the participants to climate change education for sustainable development. It also includes many practical exercises. It takes the educators out to the beach to introduce them to the Sandwatch MAST-approach: measure, analyse, share and take action.

And action is already taking place. A few days after the workshop, Eunice Jurgens from South Africa reports “We are currently celebrating Marine Week with schools. When we did a rocky shores audit we found the rocks almost bare, they were normally covered particularly with limpets, many anemone and sea-urchins. What we did find however were many of the beautiful urchin shells everywhere, tiny to large ones. We were all baffled to see the decline since last year October. We are going to investigate and speak to the local authorities and scientists around, but I found it quite ironic to see this change after our intense climate change discussions last week”.

A second training for educators from Western and Central Africa will take place in Cape Verde from 20 to 23 November 2013.