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29 June 2021
UNESCO-UNEVOC and UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP-UNESCO) joined forces to promote sustainable development and greening technical and vocational education and training (TVET). A two-hour webinar organized for selected francophone African countries in June 2021 raised awareness about the concepts and motivations for greening TVET and facilitated discussions in line with the opportunities for TVET institutions to mainstream sustainable development. It also provided a platform for dialogue on how greening TVET – drawing from UNESCO-UNEVOC’s guidance framework – could be contextualized within future TVET policy planning and implementation of skills development.
As part of its programme work on SDGs and Greening TVET, UNESCO-UNEVOC supports TVET institutions in the development and implementation of whole-institution approaches to education for sustainable development and strategies for transforming their learning and training environments. Practical methods and examples for embedding these strategies into institutional action plans were presented to more than 20 TVET managers who joined the webinar from Benin, Burundi, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Togo.
In the group discussion, participants indicated the different degrees of environmental degradations prevalent in the region, such as floods, droughts and ineffective waste management. The webinar created opportunities to reflect upon the relevant green initiatives in their areas of work and the key stakeholders needed to plan and implement green policies and practices. The Great Lakes Project in Burundi and the Great Green Wall Initiative in Senegal were among the practices highlighted. IIEP-UNESCO also presented several promising green initiatives to help contextualize approaches in similar learning settings and environments in Africa.
Participants polled prior to the webinar stated that while sustainable development occupies an important place in their respective national strategies, there are varying levels of uptake and importance given to green skills development and greening TVET in the policies for education and training. They were encouraged to apply the knowledge and techniques gained to green their institutions and to actively pursue peer learning as a means of multiplying green initiatives in the TVET space.
The webinar presentations and brainstorming sessions captured the existing gulf between the ‘demand’ for green skills and their ‘supply’ within education, as well as the significant opportunity that greening represents from the perspective of not only sustainability, but employability.