Climate Change – Global Education Strategy?

DFID has produced its latest Global Education Strategy ‘Learning for All”. As a British Government strategy paper it is clear,concise, full of data,evidence and case studies that indicate that the strategy could actually be implemented -unless there is a change in government!

What does the Strategy say?

The UK remains committed to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for Education as well as to the broader Education For All (EFA) goals.

It has a clear vision: Quality, Basic Education For All and this strategy outlines three strategic priorities that will help us to realise this vision:

  • access to a basic cycle of primary and lower secondary education, particularly in fragile and conflict affected states
  • quality of teaching and learning, particularly for basic literacy and numeracy
  • skills so that young people benefit from opportunities, jobs and growth

You can also download the strategy and the following information leaflets:

What is also  surprising is that the strategy includes references to climate change.

Addressing 21st century challenges

Investing in education will be central to addressing 21st century challenges, including global competitiveness, climate change, conflict and insecurity. This is a two-way relationship. While measures are needed to counter the negative impact of economic recession, climate change and conflict on education, education must offer its own ways of combating and responding to the wider economic, environmental and social threats. If it fails to do so, educational gains will be lost, and education will quickly lose its relevance.

Deteriorating livelihoods affect school attendance. Research in Côte d’Ivore shows that in regions experiencing greater than usual weather variability, school enrolment rates declined by 20%.

The extended range of vector borne dseases such as malaria will impact on school attendance. In Kenya, malaria accounts for the annual loss of 11% of school days for primary students and 4.3% for secondary. Malaria also deprives students of their teachers.Girls spend extra tme to collect clean water and fuel and to care for siblings and the sick. Gender equity n school and female student performance both suffer.

Environment and security impacts can interrelate. People exposed to drought and civil strife in Zimbabwe during early childhood suffered from a height loss of 3.4 centimetres, close to one less year of schooling, and a near six-month delay in starting school. The estimated effect on  lifetime earnngs was 14%.

The World Bank is developing its on global education strategy so perhaps the effects of climate change will find a place on its agenda, now that DFID has shown the way.

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