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First Lady Credits Efforts to Guarantee Education for Sustainable Development in Uganda

Friday, 6th April 2018

The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Mrs. Janet Museveni has appreciated various stakeholders across the government and non-government divide for striving to guarantee that Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is realized in Uganda.

She was opening a Mid-term review meeting of Uganda's National Action Plan on Education for Sustainable Development for the period 2015 to 2020. The meeting organized by Uganda National Commission for UNESCO was held at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala on Wednesday 28th March 2018.

The National Action Plan on ESD is in pursuit of the UN Global Action Plan on Education for sustainable development which is about life-long learning and an integral part of quality.

The First Lady commended the partnership between Government and other stakeholders in the ESD strategy for Uganda saying this will aid to leverage and harness all efforts, talents and resources needed to promote the objectives and activities of ESD in the country.

"It is only through partnerships that we will be able to achieve Government commitments," she observed.

She emphasized the relevancy of the national strategy for ESD for example infuse values training in the education system. She said that through the Curriculum review, the education and learning system in Uganda is being tailored towards promoting awareness, practices, values, attitudes and behavior consistent with sustainable development including environmental protection.

She pointed out that environmental sustainability is still a challenge in the country and expressed delight that schools are now involved in saving the environment.

"We are not doing much to sustain our environment at the family level, in the communities and even in schools. The more our country becomes urbanized, the more our environment is threatened by destruction," she argued.

She said she believes the ESD policy will provide the much-needed framework to make Uganda's education system holistic and strategically contribute to the attainment of Uganda’s Vision 2040.

The Chairperson National Committee for the Global Action Plan on ESD in Uganda Augustine Omare Okurut reported that the National ESD Policy has already been approved by the Ministry of Education and Sports Top Management and now awaits being presented to Cabinet. He proposed that the Ministry of Education and Sports takes the lead in the promotion of ESD by integrating it into the existing curriculum, infusing it across learning areas and involving everyone in the school and community.

The Secretary General Uganda National Commission for UNESCO Rosie Agoi explained that ESD is holistic and transformational education which addresses learning content and outcomes, pedagogy and the learning environment and it empowers learners with values, knowledge and skills to address social, economic and environmental challenges to transform society. She said the ESD Policy will address some of the challenges of implementing ESD in the country such as lack of awareness, funding and coordination of activities as well as achieving the objectives of the Global Action Plan on ESD.

The ESD review meeting attracted a cross section of delegates including experts, representatives from Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, civil society, faith-based institutions, academia, media, plus champions and promoters of Education for Sustainable Development among others.

A consortium of NGOs, supported by the National Commission for UNESCO (UNATCOM), Conservation Efforts for Community Development (CECOD) and Foundation for Environment Education International (FEE) to implement the Eco-Schools Project in Primary Schools, also exhibited demonstrations of how ESD is being promoted in schools and the communities.

Courtesy of the Kampala Post.

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