EIRAF Launches Climate Change Network in Southern Africa

published 1 April 2021 updated 1 April 2021

EIRAF Launches Climate Change Network in Southern Africa

EI affiliates from Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe joined EIRAF on 31st March in a virtual meeting to consult on the EI Manifesto on quality climate change education for all. The workshop was also an occasion to relaunch and reinvigorate the climate change network in southern Africa.

The workshop participants hailed the manifesto and called for its use as it reflected a lot of the situation in their countries. They were able to review the manifesto and suggest improvements and renewed their commitment to combat the negative effects of climate change by reinvigorating the network.

Opening the workshop, Dr Dennis Sinyolo, Regional Director, EI Africa, indicated that in education, response to climate change is essential if we are to protect the environment and promote sustainable consumption and lifestyles. He observed that the countries involved are some of the most affected by climate change in the world. “According to the Climate Risk Index 2021, five African nations are among the worst 10 affected in the world by climate change: Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Sudan and Niger. Mozambique and Zimbabwe were ranked first and second, respectively. Malawi was ranked fifth, South Sudan eighth and Niger ninth”, he cited. He was optimistic that the relaunched network and the one created in the Sahel region of West Africa would be a launching pad for an Africa Regional network on climate change.

He added that this would enable EI and its affiliates in the region to put pressure on governments everywhere to ensure inclusive equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all so that quality climate change education is accessible and available to all.

“Colleagues, we must work to tackle climate change and all the challenges bedeviling our education systems and our dear profession. This, we can achieve, if we provide leadership and ensure our unions and members remain united and determined to lead in their own communities”, he counselled.

Rebeca Logan, EI Director of Campaigns and Communication, in her remarks, mentioned  that educators have a fundamental and irreplaceable role in creating a sustainable and just future. “In creating a sustainable future, governments must prioritize quality climate change education for all” she said. She announced that EI will launch the Climate Change Campaign on 21st  April 2021.

The workshop takes place when the region is also faced with several challenges, including the raging terrorist insurgency in northern Mozambique which has resulted in the closure of schools and other education institutions and displacement of families,  teachers and their families.

The Regional Director said EI will continue to stand with ONP, the teachers union in Mozambique and called upon the government of Mozambique and the Southern African Development Community to take immediate and concrete measures to protect schools, educators, and students from attack. He added that schools must be safe sanctuaries and  secure havens  for learning.

He also invited member organisations to send very clear and loud letters to the Kenyan authorities to stop the Teachers Service Commission in Kenya from destroying the Kenya National Union of Teachers.

Dr Dennis Sinyolo, invited member organisation to join the EI Africa webinar on the human rights of migrants, refugees, and internally displaced persons on the 29th of April 2021.