Zambia is the first of eleven SADC countries to start drafting a national Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) strategy. Elements of this strategy were discussed during a policy dialogue in Lusaka from 25-26 July as a follow up to the adoption of the SADC ESD strategic framework by the SADC Council of Ministers of Education in June 2022, in Malawi.
Participants from Ministries of Education, Green Economy and Environment, Science and Technology, Lands/Forestry departments, representatives of youth and ESD actors from civil society shared information on ESD initiatives in policies, education institutions and communities, notably the UNESCO led “Sustainability starts with Teachers programme” and the upcoming Zambia Education Programme for Climate Action (ZEPCA) and identified synergies to ensure that the national strategy incorporates these on-going national initiatives..
In his opening remarks, Mr. Joel Kamoko, Permanent Secretary Technical Services, Ministry of Education Zambia highlighted that Education for Sustainable development (ESD) is critical as it is aimed at promoting the development of the knowledge, skills, understanding, values, and actions required to create a sustainable world, which ensures environmental protection and conservation, promotes social equity, and encourages economic sustainability. He emphasised “through this meeting, we also hope to engage you our stakeholders around the development of the Strategic Framework for ESD for Zambia within the context of the ESD 2030 framework”.
At the welcome speech of the acting head of education of the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa , Ms Julia Heiss stressed that not all kinds of education support sustainable development. Education that promotes economic growth alone may also drive an increase in unsustainable consumption patterns. Therefore, education must be about learning to live sustainably on a planet under pressure and it must be about transforming the way we think and react.
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 Zambia.
The workshop was also a platform for the country representative of FAO, Ms Suze Filippini, to inform senior government officials about the upcoming Zambia Education Programme for Climate Action (ZEPCA). In her remarks, Ms Filippini recognised possible synergies between ZEPCA and other ESD related initiatives in the country, which should benefit from the national ESD strategy.
The workshop gave participants the opportunity to examine the challenges, lessons learnt over time and key elements to be included into the Zambia ESD Strategy from a perspective of policy makers, youth, academics and teachers. 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 Zambia national policy document within the next month before being validated by national stakeholders.
For more information, contact Charles Chikunda email@example.com and Julia Heiss firstname.lastname@example.org