Teachers get climate change training
Thirty-eight teachers have benefitted from climate change awareness training as part of preparations for the incorporation of the subject into the school curriculum come September.
The teachers, from the island's six education regions, were introduced to basic climate change science and explored culturally relevant climate change principles to be incorporated into curriculum and teaching approaches across a variety of subject areas, including language arts and social science.
During the three-day training workshop, which concluded on Wednesday, the participants also learnt methodologies to encourage children to become actively involved in climate change issues and activities at an early age.
Minister of Water, Land, Environ-ment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill, in his remarks at the closing ceremony held at the Grand Port Royal Hotel in Port Royal, said the workshop was the first step in activities aimed at creating a shift in public consciousness and a national response to the critical issues surrounding
"The training of the teachers is important as they will be imparting to their students the importance of climate change," he said.
He indicated that the ministry would be assisting in the development of educational material on climate change intended to be integrated into the school curriculum.
The minister also told the gathering that a robust public education drive was under way to sensitise the public to the issues surrounding climate change.
"One of the main challenges we face is explaining the concept of climate change to the ordinary Jamaican. Based on studies, 82 per cent of Jamaicans say that they have heard the term 'climate change', while an estimated 40 per cent say that they are concerned about it. We need to get our citizens more educated and responsible about their individual and national responsibilities (regarding) climate change," he stated.
The workshop was carried out under the Youth Empowerment Programme component of the Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change (Ja REEACH) project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The three-year Ja REEACH project is working to protect rural lives, livelihoods, and ecosystems through interventions that lessen climate change impacts and strengthen the adaptive capacity of vulnerable communities to respond to these effects.
The Youth Empowerment Programme seeks to prepare young people to become future leaders in developing sustainable programmes in the management of climate change.
Ja REEACH is implemented by the Washington, DC-based non-profit economic development organisation Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance.