21.04.2016 - UNESCO Office in Nairobi

Education for Sustainable Development: Kenya bridges the GAP

Leah Rotich, Director General for Education Kenya, at the Stakeholder's Consultation, Feb 11, 2016.©Saba Bokhari/UNESCO

The Kenyan Ministry of Education, Science & Technology (MoEST) committed to becoming a Champion country for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at the Aichi-Nagoya Conference in 2014. With the support of UNESCO, the MoEST has started the groundwork towards Priority Action Area 1 of the GAP (Global Action Programme) on developing a policy framework for ESD and guidelines for implementation.

Kenya reiterated its commitment to develop an ESD policy framework and strategy for implementation at a national stakeholder’s consultation in Nairobi on 11th February, presided by the Director General for Education, Ms. Leah K. Rotich. She emphasized the importance of developing a strategy open to inclusion of positive ‘practice’ on the ground as a means to feed into ‘policy’ rather than just vice-versa. While the Director of the UNESCO Regional Office in Nairobi welcomed Kenya’s commitment at the highest level, he also reinforced the view that the SDGs (sustainable development goals) could only be ‘sustained’ in the long term “if young people were being prepared through education at all levels through the objectives of Goal 4” on Education. In addition to a rich array of presentations made by Kenyan officials on the status of ESD in Kenya and its place in the curriculum and disaster reduction situations, UNESCO together with UNDP, UNEP, UNICEF, UNISDR and WFP informed participants of their work in the area including through environmental education, governance issues, child-friendly schools, disaster risk reduction and food security for schools in the arid and semi-arid lands with different line Ministries and the need for increased coordination and support to MoEST. 

In order to ensure a participatory process, the MoEST and UNESCO, through the ESD Technical Working Group (TWG), launched consultations in 24 counties of Kenya through the months of March & April.  The consultations revealed a lot about the challenges faced by the education sector on the ground, notably the need to revitalize Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). As the findings from the counties are shared with all stakeholders, Kenya’s long-term plans are to partner with both the EAC (East African Community)  for the harmonization of an ESD oriented curriculum, and the Northern Corridor  for ESD capacity development as a means to realize its ESD aspirations through the GAP. 

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