Malawi moves closer to a National Strategy for Education for Sustainable Development
Malawi started drafting her own national Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) strategy in a policy dialogue in Lilongwe from 2 to 3 August 2022. Malawi is the second country after Zambia to embark on such a process. This is a follow up to the adoption of the SADC ESD strategic framework by the SADC Council of Ministers of Education in June 2022, in the same country.
Participants from various government departments, representatives of youth and ESD actors from civil society shared information on ESD initiatives in policies, education institutions and communities. Prominent initiatives came from institutions of higher education participating in the UNESCO led Sustainability Starts with Teachers programme.
In his remarks, Professor Chomora Mikeka, Director for Science, Technology and Innovation highlighted the importance of mainstreaming ESD across all disciplines.
Speaking at the same occasion, UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa Project Officer, Dr Charles Chikunda stressed that ESD aims to develop skills that empower individuals to question and reflect on their own actions, to examine their current and future social, economic and environmental impacts, from a local and a global perspective. Through ESD, learners can gain critical life skills and the capacity to be active in the transformation needed for to pursuit of sustainable development.
Professor Raja V Sannassee, Senior Programme Officer Education, Skills & Development Social & Human Development Directorate, SADC secretariat underscored the need for concerted effort to break the silos by creating more synergies and momentum for addressing sustainability issues in Malawi.
The workshop gave participants the opportunity to examine the challenges, lessons learnt over time and key elements to be included into the Malawi ESD Strategy from a perspective of policy makers, youth, academics, teacher and TVET educators. Based on the discussions during the dialogue and with strong references to the ESD for 2030 framework as well as the SADC ESD strategic framework, a consultant will draft the Malawi national policy document within the next month for validation by national stakeholders.