Geo-education in Africa
Many earth-related environmental challenges facing our evolving world can only be addressed if young generations are equipped with necessary knowledge, and this starts at an early age through education.
Unfortunately, it is a well-established fact that in lower levels of education (primary and secondary); geology has not gained the same status as geography, history, mathematics or physics. In many African countries, earth sciences appear for the first time at the end of secondary school, if not only at university.
Through this project, the UNESCO objective is to inform and convince governments to adapt their natural sciences curricula to give earth sciences a status that reflects the importance that this discipline plays in the everyday life of African people. The plan is to start with a test country that will serve as a show-case for the others.
At the same time the project will focus on training teachers on how to introduce earth sciences to children. For this project, UNESCO is currently in partnership with the European Geoscience Union (EGU) and the IUGS Commission on geo-education. Other partners are welcomed.
The UNESCO-EGU Geosciences Information for Teachers (GIFT) Workshop took place from 26 to 28 February 2014 at the African Earth Observatory Network at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth (South Africa).
The general theme of the workshop was Climate Change and Human Adapation and it explored some of the Complex changes of the Southern African environment, in the framework of Global Change and the publication of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).