26 July 2013, Liwonde, Malawi - In order to promote integration of climate change knowledge, skills and attitudes into the primary school curriculum of Malawi, the Malawi Institute of Education (MIE) in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Management produced a poster centred on the message Climate change is real. Act now!. This poster aims to raise children’s awareness and is developed as part of the national UN CC:Learn pilot project, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). UN CC:Learn is a One UN initiative on climate change learning for which UNITAR is providing the Secretariat.
The poster was first designed during a workshop attended by 12 professionals from the Malawi Institute for Education, the Environmental Affairs Department, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, in Liwonde, Malawi. It was then field tested in 15 primary schools covering the districts of Zomba, Machinga and Balaka. Both urban and rural primary schools were targeted for the exercise. A total of 377 learners (193 male and 184 female) and a total of 59 teachers (32 male and 27 female) participated in the pilot exercise. This second phase of the project showed that the poster was generally effective in terms of clarity of content, and student and teacher comments were helpful in enhancing it even further. The entire activity was conducted from 15 to 26 July 2013.
The poster comprises three sections: 1) human activities that influence climate change, 2) negative effects and impacts of climate change, and 3) learner actions. Pictures were drawn to illustrate all the three sections of the poster. It will be printed in both English and Chichewa and sent to about 6000 public primary schools, 400 Teacher Development Centres, 7 public Teacher Training Colleges and other relevant offices and institutions.
The use of a poster to teach children climate change issues is quite consistent with the understanding that most children tend to learn better when their learning is designed in a more carefree and less stressful manner. It also underscores the common knowledge that children are naturally inquisitive and like learning and exploring new things in less formal learning settings.
About UN CC:Learn
UN CC:Learn is a partnership of 33 multilateral organizations which supports Member States in designing and implementing results-oriented and sustainable learning to address climate change. The Secretariat for UN CC:Learn is provided by UNITAR. An important aspect of UN CC:Learn is to support countries in developing a National Strategy to Strengthen Human Resources and Skills to Advance Green, Low Emission and Climate Resilient Development, through a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder process. During the course of 2012-2013, Benin, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Malawi, and Uganda are participating as UN CC:Learn pilot countries. Core funding for the 2011-2013 implementation phase of UN CC:Learn is provided by the Swiss Government.