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  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This is a case study on Climate Change and Environmental Education for Child Friendly Schools in Zimbabwe. The main purpose is to share the experiences and best practices in Zimbabwe relating to child-centered, rights-based child-friendly interventions which include nutrition gardens, community involvement and teacher training in response to climate change and environmental education. It also discusses in detail, the development process of the Enhancing Food Security through the Empowerment of Schools project in Zimbabwe and the impact of the project to date, including teacher training, nutrition gardens, WASH (water, sanitation, health and hygiene) facilities and community involvement. Objectives of the study were to establish experiences of climate change by school pupils, teachers and community members; to assess the impact of the project in the five (5) participating districts and to document best practices in response to climate change and environmental education. The mixed methods approach was used on a sample of 15 out of 50 (30%) participating schools in the 5 districts. Questionnaires, interviews, lesson observations, documentary analyses of scheme-cum-plans, focus group discussions and observation check list for the presence and usage of donated materials were used to collect the data. Findings revealed that the project has registered an 80% success level. In the 15 sample schools, 13 out of 15 (87%) schools had boreholes in place as well as flourishing gardens, which pupils and community members confirmed as having improved the status of their food security to a large extent. Only one school in Binga had a fenced garden without any crops and this was largely attributed to the absence of a borehole coupled with very sandy soils. Although all the 15 schools had hand-washing facilities in place, a gap still existed in terms of utilization as 8 out of 15 (53%) hand-washing facilities were being used. Challenges encountered during project implementation and suggested future directions, including curriculum review infusing issues of climate change and environmental education are highlighted. Continuous teacher training and community capacity building has also been highly recommended in the establishment of child-friendly school environments. 
  • Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar in 2008, destroying hundreds of schools. In partnership with the government, UNICEF took on the project of re-building primary schools in some of the most affected districts so that they could withstand future storm surges and earthquakes. The schools were built sustainably with local materials. In addition to providing the children with a safe and protective school environment, the new schools took on other aspects promoted by the Child Friendly Schooling approach, including local participation in the construction process and the use of the school by the community in times of emergency. Most of these new schools have increased children’s registration and attendance. Some have doubled their student populations and are also attended by children from other villages.

UNFF UNFF Presentation Transcript

  • Stephanie Hodge, Education Specialist, UNICEF Education
    Suchitra Sugar, Consultant, UNICEF Education
    UNFF: The Power of One Child + One Tree = a Sustainable Future for All
    UNHQ, New York, USA| 4 February 2011
    Children and the ForestsUNICEF: A child-friendly schooling approach
  • The social dimension
    • Children need forests
    • Forests need children
  • A Child Friendly Schooling ApproachChildren’s rights: Quality Education
    Achieving children’s agency in sustainable forest management
    Providing relevant education towards quality
    Value-based: sustainable use is the right thing - Stewardship
    Skills-based: how can I use forests sustainably to help me and my family
    Knowledge-based: why forests are important
    Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction through schools: Reducing vulnerabilities
    Inclusive: Education for All (poverty-env.)
  • Quality Education is holistic
    Doesn’t work if separate addition – must be part of overall reform
    Holistic school models: inclusive, active and participatory learning methods, safe school environment and facilities, community participation, conducive policies and management
  • Zimbabwe: School Gardens
    Learning environments
    School gardens + water facilities improving children’s nutrition
    Providing ideal forum for active learning
  • Myanmar: Resilient Schools
    Protective environments
    Disaster-resilient Child Friendly schools constructed in Myanmar after Cyclone Nargis
  • Local to Global Empowerment
    Children’s Agency
    Child-led water quality monitoring
    Having a voice in decisions that affect their lives
  • For more information please contact:
    Stephanie Hodge (shodge@unicef.org)
    Focal point for climate change and environmental education
    Sonia Sukdeo (ssukdeo@unicef.org)
    Focal point for DRR and education
    SuchitraSugar (ssugar@unicef.org)
    Consultant on climate change and environmental education and learning community facilitator
    Carlos Vasquez (cvasquez@unicef.org)
    Focal point for school construction and design
    Anna Maria Hoffman (amhoffman@unicef.org)
    Focal point for Life Skills Based Education
    ChanguMannathoko (cmannathoko@unicef.org)
    Focal point for CFS