Ministry of Education, Guyana

Tuesday, 01 November 2016 15:39

Education For Sustainable Development

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5.0 Pillar 1: Institutional Capacity

Since Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is an emerging and changing concept, there is need for institutional capacity building nationally. The successful implementation of ESD will require responsible, accountable, capable leadership and expertise within and among institutions. There are many different factors that influence how ESD will be interpreted, and how learning should be adapted to address ESD. As a result of the differences in geography and the variety of cultures that exist in the various administrative regions and education districts, ESD institutional capacity building must be site-specific.

To support institutional capacity building, a national training-needs analysis on technical skills in ESD will be undertaken to determine areas for improvement which will facilitate the design of technical training programmes to build capacities among current staff and other stakeholders (NGOs, FBOs, CBOs etc.). This needs analysis will identify gaps that may require additional expertise to execute the task of implementation. Special priority for capacity building will be given to the Ministry of Education which will assume the lead role in national institutional capacity building for ESD. This will require some amount of restructuring within the Ministry of Education to facilitate the following:

  1. Establish a special unit within the Ministry of Education which is linked directly to the ESDCB to lead the national institutional capacity building for ESD;
  2. Strengthen the Curriculum Development and Implementation Unit, NCERD, in capacity building among current technical staff or with the addition of new technical experts in ESD;
  3. Strengthen institutional capacities for stakeholders (Non-Governmental Organisations, Community Based Organisations, Faith Based Organisations, Government Agencies and Ministries, Private Sector);
  4. Conduct Monitoring and Evaluation of strategic activities.

This capacity building must be mirrored in schools for both teachers and students in the formal education system, in Community/Resource Learning Centres, NGOs, FBOs, and CBOs for non- formal education and public awareness through the media and other national sources for informal education.

These specific action measures for institutional capacity building for ESD are to be identified, prioritised, finalised and budgeted for over the given period of time for full delivery of this Policy Pillar.

5.1 Curriculum Reorientation

The curriculum that now exists does not capture all of the essential elements of sustainability that are relevant to Guyana. Guyana has a wealth of resources, the most valuable of which is its citizens. An established curriculum model, which has the flexibility to include intra-national diversity, will be selected for use. This is required since ESD is site- specific and quality education requires content relevant to the students’ individual environments. For example, the use of natural resources for education through field trips and understanding of the natural environment will allow better appreciation for the need for sustainability. This, in turn, protects those natural resources under threat.

The process of curriculum reorientation requires close research attention and institutional arrangements that enable the required changes to be identified. An initial step to conduct a curriculum audit is required to determine existing ESD gaps to address curriculum reform.

Relevant activities for effective curriculum reform include:

  • Review of the existing ESD component within the education system;
  • Design of concrete plans to mobilise financial and human resources to support curriculum reorientation;
  • Establishment of appropriate mechanisms to review current curriculum for integration of ESD in all subject areas;
  • Refreshment and enhancement/creation of the ESD component within the curriculum from early childhood to tertiary education institutions;
  • Assumption of an integrated approach which involves cross-curricular strategies, for example the use of themes, as well as project work and local investigations employing knowledge and skills from various subjects to address the same issue;
  • Infusion of ESD into existing curriculum subjects and programmes;
  • Production of new curriculum instructional guides for educators;
  • Reorientation of education so that everyone have the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that empower him or her to contribute to sustainable development and strengthen education and learning in all agendas.

Activities identified as being critical to the achievement of this Pillar must be consistently and continually monitored and evaluated. Monitoring and evaluation of the institutional changes that lead to capacity building is necessary because of the changing nature of the local and international factors which influence the achievement of sustainability.

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