News

Education for Sustainable Development and Climate Change

“Let us put aside what divides us and overcome narrow self-interest in favor of working together for the common well-being of humanity.” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

The Notre Dame Global Adaption Index identifies Kenya as one of the 25 countries most at risk from the global climate changes that are being caused by the excess carbon emissions of economically developed countries. With more economic development people have used more cars and other forms of transport, and the products used in homes and produced in factories have consumed energy which has traditionally been produced from burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas. Historically, economic growth and growth in global carbon emissions have gone hand in hand.

But Kenya needs economic growth for sustainable development , our population needs employment, and our children need better health and education provisions.

The time has now come to break the link between economic growth and the growth in carbon emissions around the world, we need to find alternative energy sources and better ways of living with the natural world and environment. But that isn’t going to be enough for Kenya. The United Nations global plan is referred to as ‘Convergence and Contraction’, where the overall objective is to reduce carbon emissions from the current global average of 5.0 Tonnes per person a year, to 2.0 Tonnes per person by 2050. That means that with a current average Kenyan carbon footprint of about 0.3 tonnes we have significant scope for increases, and with the development of alternative energy sources like the new wind power generation scheme even more can, and is beginning to be done at a national level to help. Our ‘carbon partnership’ between preschools in Kenya and the UK have also been developed to support these changes. As a significant aspect of their Education for Sustainable Development  children in the UK are learning from our good examples of tree planting, recycling materials and wildlife conservation in Kenya. The UK-Kenya preschool partnership supports a fair and equal dialogue and we are also learning from some of best practices of the UK partner preschools. Some of our success stories are also attracting international interest (Siraj-Blatchford and Pramling-Samuelsson, 2014, UNESCO, 2014):

Untitled

News

Bats conservation and learning through making things

Nakuru West preschool in Kenya together with their UK partner Sunbeam preschool joined together in an education for sustainable development project on bat conservation and learning through making things. The children learnt about bats by making bat models using recycled materials.

As an introduction to the project, the children at Sunbeams preschool sent a cuddly toy bat to Kenya together with a picture story book about bats.

This was received by Nakuru West children and their teachers:

teachers-bat bat photo


Nakuru West preschool decided to join their partner friends in making bats using locally available materials which included charcoal for black colour, papers for wings, and cardboards from toilet rolls for bats body, sticks, strings, and blunt pins.

Snapshot 3


They also made a makeshift house for the bats.

Snapshot 8

As they carried out the activity, the teachers engaged in a dialogue with the children who learnt how bats cuddle together and hang upside down in their houses during the day as they sleep, and go out during the night to eat mosquitoes and moths. The children said they were happy to learn about the bats and how important they are to their lives. As long as the bats eat mosquitoes children will not get sick together with their siblings who are at home, thus they will always be happy healthy and able to attend school. Children also learnt how good it is for them to make sure they protect the environment and the bat habitats. They learnt a song about the bats, the song had numeracy and they sang counting about how bats went out one day and what would happened to them.

The teachers too were happy to learn more about the bats and decided to work together and to keep reminding the children about the bats. After we carried out the bat making activity each child was given an opportunity to go and put his or her made bat in the makeshift habitat.

Snapshot 9

The children were happy to learn that bats sleep while facing upside down. It was a very interesting activity and the children said they would look to see the bats and see if they are eating mosquitoes.

The teachers also learnt that it is important to make things out of recycled materials for teaching and also ensuring that children are fully engaged in the manipulation of such materials to have a clear view of what it entails.

Reported by Cecilia Wangui.

 

News

Affordable, Quality Pre-Primary Education for All

Kenya_Country team group_Zanzibar

On 24 November 2014, OMEP Kenya contributed to a high level  eastern and southern African regional workshop on National Planning for Quality Affordable Pre-Primary Education in Zanzibar. The four day workshop was organized by UNICEF, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Secretariat, the World Bank, and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and it was implemented by Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). Cecilia Wangui, our acting president (3rd from the right in this photo of the full Kenya delegation) will be reporting on the event at the AGM to be held on 15th December in Nakuru. For further details see the OMEP Kenya website or contact the secretary mercyomepkenya@gmail.com

The workshop was opened by Zanzibar’s First Vice President H.E. Seif Sharif Hamad and it was attended by delegates from 14 African countries and experts from all of the major NGOs and agencies working in the region.

The workshop speakers included Professor John Siraj-Blatchford (UK), Professor Robert Serpell (Zambia), Dr Aglaia Zafeirakou (GPE), Sara Poehlman and Bonita Birungi (Save the Children), Najma Rashid, Amina Mwitu and Sultana Karama (Aga Khan Foundation), Alemu Adane (Addis Development Vision) and Argaw Menelik Desta (School Readiness Initiative), Patience Awopegba (UNESCO-IICBA), Francis Chalamanda (Malawi), Amanda Epstein Devercelli and Alexandra Solano Rocha (World Bank).

The workshop concluded with a ‘Call to Action on Quality, Affordable Pre-Primary Education’:

1. To increase access for girls and boys to quality ECCE, including at least one year of free and compulsory pre-primary education, with particular focus on the most marginalized children.

2. To increase international and domestic investment in ECCE for Global Partnership for Education countries.

3. To promote new and innovative partnerships that:
– Leverage investments in ECCE from public and private partners;
– Improve the availability and delivery of quality ECCE services.

4. To strengthen the evidence-base of effective and quality ECCE programming and the development of ECCE indicators that support countries to monitor children’s readiness to learn, the quality of learning environments.

5. To ensure the inclusion of ECCE in the post-2015 development agenda and in the Global Partnership for Education’s next Strategic Plan through:
– The inclusion of a post-2015 target on ECCE, supported by appropriate indicators, under an education post-2015 goal.
– The integration of ECCE as a cross-cutting issue in other post-2015 development goals related to child development.
– The inclusion of ECCE as a Strategic Priority in the Global Partnerships for Education’s 2015-2018 Strategic Plan.