Training Workshop for members of the Environment and Sustainability Network of Lesotho (ESENeL) on the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).
June 15, 2017
Lesotho National Commission for UNESCO in collaboration with Environmental & Sustainability Education Network of Lesotho (ESENeL) / Tikoloho Lehae la Rona held the above workshop at the premises of the Lesotho National Commission for UNESCO, Maseru on Wednesday, 24 May 2017.
The aim of the workshop was to familiarise members of the network with the Post 2015 Agenda on Education with a specific focus on the two programmes of UNESCO on Education namely Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and how Lesotho can participate meaningfully in the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD. The theme of the workshop was “Upscaling Education for Sustainable Development in Lesotho”.
Invited were government departments, non-governmental organisations, youth groups, tertiary institutions, teachers and media houses.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Tieho Rankhone on behalf of the Secretary-General, highlighted the importance of Education to UNESCO saying it is a fundamental human right and a foundation on which to build peace and drive sustainable development. He reminded the participants that on 25 September 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UN, 2015) with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He said that Education is essential to achieve all of these goals, but that it has its own dedicated Goal 4, which aims to:
“ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
He also highlighted the importance of education for sustainable development which he said empowers people with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that empower them to contribute to sustainable development. The Global Action Programme on ESD he said, builds up on the successes achieved during the UN Decade on ESD (2005 – 2014) and is designed as a tangible concrete contribution to the post 2015 development and education agendas.
Associate Proffessor Tšepo Mokuku who is also the President of the network gave members its background saying that the network was established in October 2009 and the objectives were:
To facilitate networking, linkages, interaction and exchange among stakeholders in ESD locally and internationally
Promote local research in ESD
Support people of Lesotho in making progress towards attaining the national plans and policies relating to environment and sustainable development
Provide people of Lesotho with new opportunities of incorporating ESD into education and development effort
On her part Mrs. Bontle Mokotso Ntsoaole who is the National Coordinator of ESD in Lesotho gave an overview of the two major programmes of UNESCO on education namely Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and their perceived role in the achievement of Target 4.7 of SDG 4 which reads:
By 2030 ensure all learners acquire the knowledge and skills to promote sustainable development including among others through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.
She indicated that the two programmes are complementary and both emphasise the need to foster the knowledge, skills, values, attitudes and behaviours that allow individuals to take informed decisions and assume active roles locally, nationally and internationally. However there are slight differences in their agendas, discourses and international policy frameworks. She said that simply put, ESD is:
integrating key sustainable development issues such as biodiversity loss, climate change, disaster risk reduction, poverty reduction, sustainable consumption into teaching and learning
She went further to elaborate more on the Global Action Programme on ESD which she said was endorsed in 2013 by the 37th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO as a follow up to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and is intended as a concrete, tangible contribution to the Post 2015 Agenda on development. The main aim of the GAP on ESD she said is to build on the achievements of the Decade and scale up concrete actions in ESD. The GAP on ESD has two objectives and five priority Action areas.
Objectives of GAP on ESD:
To re-orient education and learning so that everyone has the ability to acquire the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that empower them to contribute to sustainable development
To strengthen education and learning in all agendas, programmes and activities that promote sustainable development.
The Priority Action Areas of the GAP on ESD
Transforming teaching and learning
Building capacities of educators and trainers
Empowering and mobilising youth
Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level
The World Café - Highlight of the Workshop
The highlight of the workshop was the World Café on the five action areas of the GAP namely: Advancing Policy, Transforming Learning and Training Environments, Building Capacities of Educators and Trainers; Empowering and Mobilising Youth and Accelerating Sustainable Solutions at Local Level. The aim was for participants to share their thoughts on the concrete activities that Lesotho can take to implement the GAP on ESD in Lesotho.
Participants, divided in five groups, had the opportunity to visit the different hosts at their tables and share their thoughts about the area before they moved to the next host until all the different groups had travelled to each of the 5 table hosts.