Having running for three years with Anglophone Southern African countries (Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and Eswatini), Sustainability Starts with Teachers (SST) programme now turns to Lusophone Southern Africa with Angola and Mozambique taking the last leg in the programme. Indeed, a sua vez, it is their turn as issues of sustainability cut across linguistic boundaries. As such, 12 participants from the two Lusophone countries, and various teacher education and TVET institutions, are attending a capacity building workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa from 17 to 18 March 2022. The workshop comes at the back of a successful UNESCO-SADC ESD Policy Dialogue that was held for the eleven SST countries bringing together ESD experts and senior government department officials.
Funded by Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and implemented by partnership between UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa and Rhodes University, this flagship programme is responding to an expressed need that teacher education needs to align with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and that teachers need capacity building for mainstreaming Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in their school practices.
Research has shown that Angola and Mozambique, just like their sister SADC countries, have a conducive policy environment for ESD implementation. However, evidence from practice shows that many teacher educators lack the capacity to implement ESD except for those who teach geography and agriculture related subjects. Furthermore, a general perception of ESD as an addition to what is already a heavy curriculum for teacher education seems to discourage teacher educators from including sustainable development themes, ESD pedagogies and experiential learning in a system that is exam-oriented.
The SST programme, therefore, aims to strengthen implementation of ESD in teacher education institutions for teachers and educators from Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), primary, secondary and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
Key discussion topics in the two day workshop include sustainability challenges in the country, ESD and SDGs in curricula, as well as Teacher/TVET education curricula. The workshop is expected to achieve the following
- Initiate, with stakeholders, the implementation of the SST programme in the two countries and share it’s vision, objectives and expected impact;
- Develop a shared understanding of the context for ESD in the two countries;
- Identify available ESD resources, tools and good practices from previous capacity building efforts in the country, region and beyond;
- Initiate “change projects” in TE and TVET institutions;
- Discuss the implementation processes of the project and enable the key project-implementing partners to understand their respective roles and commitments.
After attending the training of trainers workshop, the 12 participants and their colleagues will continue the capacity building process through an online course (https://course.sustainabilityteachers.org/) and in-country cluster meetings supported by UNESCO and Rhodes University.