Community Projects – Education for Sustainable Development
Dr. Hani Sewilam teaching abroad
The UNESCO Chair of the RWTH Aachen represented by Dr Sewilam, has launched the Education for Sustainable Development Beyond the Campus (EduCamp) initiative, which seeks to introduce sustainable development concepts in Egyptian schools. With a budget of 1.4 million euros granted by the EU Tempus program, EduCamp project commenced in October 2010 in partnership between 20 international and national universities and institutions and was carried out over a period of three years.
The main aim is to introduce key sustainable development principles into teaching and learning in the Egyptian public schools. EduCamp followed four main principles to introduce ESD into Egyptian schools. These include:
- a partnership approach between different stakeholders
- changing pedagogical practices
- teacher development through training the trainers
- developing public understanding and awareness of sustainability
The main achievements of this initiative are:
Developing ESD resource kits for schools to provide activities for teachers and students which link the existing school curriculum to the local community.
The kits include activities related to biodiversity, agriculture, energy, and water
A school teachers’ training programme has been developed and applied to enable teachers to implement ESD and use the kits in their teaching activities.
Seven ESD Centres of Excellence have been established to promote and support the introduction of ESD into the education system and provide teachers’ training programmes. Change takes time and the implementation of ESD presents a long-lasting process, which will take many years to achieve. Therefore, it is premature to draw a quantitative conclusion about the impact nationwide. Having said that, the indicators of direct impact on teachers’ and students’ performance are promising.
Building on the significant results of EduCamp I and in line with the objectives of the GIZ’s call for building on the GIZ Participatory Needs Assessment in the Giza governorate, in 2014, with funding of 100K Euros from GIZ, EduCamp II project aims to promote education for sustainable development (ESD) as a tool to face the challenges of informal areas, focusing on El Warraq. EduCamp II objective is to develop a summer educational and recreational program for children, youth and women and focuses on the El Warraq informal area in Giza was achieved. In collaboration with the CSD at AUC in partnership with Sekem Development Foundation and Mohby Omkora NGO, the project was implemented in two schools in El Warraq.
The main objectives of the project include:
- The development of a summer educational and recreational program, including educational and recreational sessions, as well as hand-on activities that bring key sustainable development concepts to students
- The development of a training program for school teachers and local volunteers to build their capacity
- using best practices from ESD teaching methodologies
- The improvement and renovation of the existing educational
- recreational facilities in two of the three public schools located in El Warraq
- The pilot implementation of the summer educational and recreational program for two weeks
These objectives were achieved through participatory activities that included adapting the EduCamp kits to the local community in El Warraq, in order to provide educational activities in the form of games, outdoor activities, group discussions and experiments. Additionally, this project emphasizes innovative teaching methodologies, which ensures that students are actively engaged in the educational process, thus motivating students to attend, while reducing the dropout rate. The kits tackle specific, complex topics in the official school curricula, which will reduce the need for private tutoring. The project also focuses on building capacities among school teachers and young volunteers to facilitate activities with children, which will ensure further application of the project results even beyond the project lifetime.
EduCamp – Teaching & Learning Kits here
In September 2017, EduCamp III was launched with the objective of transforming the schools in Egyptian informal areas into schools that meet the objectives of the Country’s Sustainable Development Strategy “Egypt 2030”. The project is coordinated by the Center for Sustainable Development at AUC and funded by the European Union and the German government under the Participatory Development Program in Urban Areas. In this project, the main objective is to develop a role model for the Egyptian schools that enable them to deliver education in line with the Egyptian vision 2030. This transformation will provide solutions to the real-world problems (infrastructure, overcrowded classes, low teaching quality, private lessons, violence, etc.) with focus on children, youth, children with special needs and females and mothers in the area. The project is being implemented in two schools in Boulaq ElDakrour, namely Mohamed Farouk Wahdan Preparatory school and Gamal Abdel Nasser primary school, with the following specific objectives:
- Developing new ESD kits from grade 1 to 4 and adapting the already established one from grade 5 to 9 to the local context of Boulaq ELDakrour. The new kits will be complementing class lessons or can even replace them with activities tailored to the class conditions, such as overcrowded classrooms, high student to teacher ratios, etc.
- Developing and implementing capacity development program for teachers, school principals, administrative staff, and ministry officials to ensure the sustainability of the project and empower all stakeholders to adapt ESD practices into their lives.
- Renovating existing facilities of the schools, establishing new rooms and providing all the needed resources for the school such as science and computer labs and community
- Developing a School Community participatory model between the school and community to engage the various stakeholders of the schools and to ensure a sustainable and continuous model that can be disseminated, and replicated by other schools around Egypt
The project started in September 2017, and the first stage which included the needs assessment of the two schools, in terms of infrastructure and also the capacity building of the stakeholders is completed. Based on needs assessment, the renovation plan for the two schools and the training programs were designed. In addition, mapping of the Egyptian curricula, the plan for the education for sustainable development kits from grade 1 to 9 is completed as well and the activities of the ESD kits is in process. In addition to the inauguration event in November 2018, several activities have already been carried out in the two selected schools Mohamed Farouk Wahdan and Gamal Abdel Nasser such as teachers and first phase of the training. On the 28th of January 2018 the School of 2030 project launched the first phase of its teachers‘ training in Mohamed Farouk Wahdan Preparatory School where teachers are trained on Education for Sustainable Development learning techniques. Additionally, the project launched the first training program on leadership for the school’s administration staff from both Mohamed Farouk Wahdan Preparatory School and Gamal AbdelNasser Primary School and their supervisors from the Giza Education Directorate. The training included topics such as school leadership, strategic management of schools, school culture, communication and collaboration and Education for Sustainable Development.