USP’s School of Education joins Demonstration Schools to launch COP23 programme
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A student from the Demonstration School collects rubbish as part of the COP23 programme.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) School of Education in conjunction with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched the COP23 school-based programme at John Wesley College on 15 September 2017 in Suva, Fiji.
The Permanent Secretary for Education, Heritage and Arts, Mr Iowane Tiko, who was the Chief Guest at the launch, commended the collaboration between the School of Education and UNICEF for partnering on the initiative to develop this awareness programme in the demonstration schools.
Apart from John Wesley College, John Wesley Primary and Hilton Special School gathered together to take part in the event. These three (3) schools are the Demonstration Schools for the School of Education.
Together with school students, parents, teachers, staff from the Ministry of Education and School of Education, and other members of the school communities were part of the programme.
The school-based programme is a way to demonstrate practical and relevant actions at the school level on climate change.
This activity is aligned to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Apart from these schools, schools in other education districts were also expected to integrate climate related activities that would engage children and at the same time raise awareness on climate change issues.
Mr Tiko highlighted that such platforms provided an opportunity to showcase Fiji and the Pacific Island Countries’ (PICs) experiences on the frontline of climate change and tell the world ‘our stories.’
“More importantly, it is an opportunity to engage and educate our people on the need to be prepared for the oncoming impacts of climate change and to advocate action globally to significantly reduce carbon emission,” Mr Tiko noted.
The three (3) schools displayed posters, created models, and performed dances to voice their concerns on climate change issues. Also, students illustrated ways people can work together to address such issues.
Professor Govinda Lingam, Head of School of Education thanked the Demonstration Schools for all the preparation they did towards the school-based climate change programme.
This, he stated “was an opportunity in the right direction as educating and engaging school children on the issues of climate change was important as they would be affected the most in future if they lacked the adaptive capacity.”
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