Ministry of Education, Guyana

Tuesday, 01 November 2016 15:39

Education For Sustainable Development

Article Index:

8.0 Pillar 4: Raise Public Awareness & Understanding of Sustainable Development

8.1 Public Awareness Plan

This Policy recognises the importance in raising public awareness for ESD and sustainable development in order to cultivate a countrywide culture of care and cooperation. The ESDCB will develop a Public Awareness Plan for ESD in Guyana which includes formal, non-formal and informal education. UNESCO, which has been assigned the lead agency for ESD, will be engaged to support the ESDCB in the development of this Plan and support its public awareness efforts. The educational resources to support public awareness will be sourced or developed.

Community-based ESD will be a major part of this Plan. Community-based sustainable development practices are a natural way to engage, educate, and involve citizens for the betterment of their own communities. As such, this Policy supports initiatives such as the Village Mangrove Action Committees and the resuscitation of Community Learning Centres. Public awareness will be strengthened through cooperation with NGOs, CBOs and the ESDCB. Not only will this cooperation ensure that the piecemeal efforts for sustainable development taken on by these agencies can be coordinated for maximum impact, but also that the educational resources developed by these organisations can be fully utilised for ESD.

8.2 Mass Media

A critical step in the implementation of ESD is awareness within the educational community and the public. Reorienting education to achieve sustainability is essential. This reorientation is necessary for the full realisation of the goals of ESD, extending beyond the classroom and into the homes and communities of learners. To raise public awareness and understanding of sustainable development, the media is a key stakeholder.

The infusion of ESD concepts and values into all forms of popular media such as newspapers, television, radio, social media, among other, allows for continued reinforcement of what is practised and taught to students in the formal education system. Informed parents can play a more active role in their children’s education and ensure that the good sustainable habits formed in school are reinforced in the home. Furthermore, mass media is an invaluable vehicle for lifelong learning and extensive reach of citizens outside of the formal education system and in remote areas. The Guyana Learning Channel, which operates at NCERD will be fully utilised to raise public awareness and broadcast ESD programmes.

An increased level of awareness will foster the inclusivity of everyone in ESD and support the implementation of the Pillars of this Policy. The institutional changes recommended by this Policy requires an understanding of ESD. This understanding facilitates easier adoption of ESD in these institutions by its employees.

Research into the most suitable channels of communication and media technologies for ESD will be done prior to the implementation of this public awareness campaign. To ensure equitable access to relevant information, the use ICTs in reaching remote communities cut off from traditional forms of media will be employed. In recognition of the fact that many people learn in different ways, multimedia education resources will be developed for the dissemination of knowledge and easy sharing. ESD experts will need to be engaged in the development of local ESD programmes for mass media.

The monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the public awareness plan is considered a critical activity here. Findings will be incorporated into the improvement of future public awareness activities. In addition, new information on ESD from regional and international sources will be reviewed and incorporated in the public awareness and understanding of sustainable development.

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