Over 100 teachers participate in regional ESD course

Over 100 teacher and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) educators from Lesotho, South Africa and Zambia participated in a virtual course on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) from 14 September 2020 to 13 November 2020.

The Sustainability Starts with Teachers programme and course seek to support educators to integrate ESD into all areas of education and support the implementation of Target 4.7 of Sustainable Development Goal 4. The course focused on developing advanced leadership in ESD and provided teacher educators with the theoretical and practical foundations to strengthen ESD Change processes in the three countries. The virtual course, which entailed daily on-line lectures complimented with working sessions, achieved the following learning outcomes:

  • Comprehensive shared understanding of  the ESD context in the three countries;
  • Deepened theoretical and practical knowledge of ESD change processes relevant to teacher and TVET education in SADC;
  • Expanded understanding of the importance of transformative learning and assessment processes to support change;
  • Increased appreciation of available ESD resources, tools and good practices from previous capacity building efforts in the country, region and beyond;
  • Developed strategies to roll out “change projects” in TE and TVET institutions; and
  • Established network of support to enable the key project-implementing partners to understand their respective roles and commitments, and begin the implementation processes for their projects.

During the course, participants had an opportunity to present and further develop their ESD Change Projects. These are institutional change initiatives in Teacher Education and TVET institutions supported by the programme. The programme also demonstrates the importance of contextualizing ESD by integrating cultural heritage and indigenous knowledge into teaching on sustainability practices.  Participants were also exposed to the new global framework “ESD for 2030” which will be launched in Africa on November 26, 2020. Register here.

Following the course, participants returned to their respective institutions to implement their Change Projects with their communities of practice. Next years, the trained teacher educators will attend a regional   ‘policy dialogue meeting   and present the progress and achievements of their institutional programmes and its contribution to transformative learning to senior education policy makers.

Rhodes University Vice Chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela acknowledged the importance of the course and recognised the efforts of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) actors   to make our planet a better place to live on. UNESCO Regional Director for Southern Africa, Professor Hubert Gijzen, said ESD requires innovative, learner-centred teaching and learning methods to help empower learners with the knowledge, skills and values they need to address the social, environmental and economic challenges of the 21st century.

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