Ghana heightens climate education in its reform curriculum

Reverend John Ntim Fordjour
Reverend John Ntim Fordjour

Reverend John Ntim Fordjour, the Deputy Minister of Education, says Ghana has made climate education a topmost priority in its reformed standard based curriculum.

He said the sector was hardest hit when climate induced disasters like floods, storms, and drought occurred, hence the need to introduce children to the nuances of the phenomena to build their resilience.

“Educational sector is always at the receiving end of disasters. When there is drought, children trek long distances in search of water. They are unable to go to school when a storm rips up roofs of their school building” he said.

Rev. Fordjour made this known to the Ghana News Agency at the on-going COP 26 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

The global moment, which has assembled some 30,000 delegates including world leaders and innovators is seeking to discuss and identify ways to accelerate climate action over the next week.

It is aiming at finding a way to prevent rising global temperatures, and protecting the planet and people from the intensifying impacts of climate change that threatened health, education, food security and the environment.

The Deputy Minister mentioned that early and timely exposure of children especially girls to climate change and its impacts could encourage and entice them to opt for science, technology, mathematics and engineering programmes to innovate simple technologies to address challenges that affect them.

Throwing more light on the climate education implementation, he explained that the Ministry of Education working with the Environmental Protection Agency had equipped teachers with knowledge on climate change to teach children up to the pre-tertiary level.

He said the Ministry and the EPA was looking for partners to bring climate change and green economy literacy to secondary education, and work with teacher training institutions to strengthen climate change and green economy issues in the standard training programme for teachers.

Rev. Fordjour who is part of Ghana’s delegation to the COP26 said a strong presentation on nexus between education and climate change had been made and the relevant issues highlighted to stakeholders.

He said over the years, not much attention had been focused on the impact of climate change on education both at the local and international level, explaining that many children especially females had had their education truncated as a result of climate induced disasters.

“When flood displaces their homes, children miss out on school. Some especially adolescent girls do not even return to school. The big problem is that these children will lose out to be empowered and attain skills that will help them out of poverty,” he said

The Deputy Minister urged stakeholders, especially development partners to support initiatives that would build resilience of children to better adapt.

“Often the orientation of development partners and leaders is that they only offer support after a disaster has occurred. There should be a paradigm shift where they will commit to invest in systems to build resilience,” he said.

He reiterated the country’s commitment towards increasing the contribution of education to building a more just and sustainable world through the implementation of education for sustainable development by 2030.

This story was produced as part of the 2021 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organised by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Centre for Peace and Security.

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