Dominican Republic Archives - Earth Charter

Course on public policies of education for sustainable development, UNESCO GAP on ESD

The final phase of the Course on Formulation and Design of Public Policies for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) was held from 12 to 14 September 2017. This was a special course that we planned and implemented at the request of the UNESCO San Jose Office with the support from the Japan Fund for ESD. The course’s objective was to: “Strengthen the capacities of senior level decision-makers and key personnel in the Ministries of Education and Environment of Central America and Dominican Republic for the development of Education for Sustainable Development Public Policies.” This effort is related to the first priority area of the UNESCO Global Action Programme on ESD and to the Sustainable Development Goal 4 Target 7.

Foto 16 Grupo

This course lasted three months (June to September), and had two modalities: face-to-face and virtual. The first part of the course consisted of face-to-face sessions for three intensive days, held at the Earth Charter Center of ESD facilities in the University for Peace, Costa Rica. It continued with a virtual phase that lasted seven weeks, where participants had the opportunity to deepen the topics introduced in the initial face-to-face phase. The course ended with a face-to-face meeting, also held at the EC-ESD Center in Costa Rica, where participants presented their final projects and proposed some actions to follow up this course.

In their assessment of the course, the participants mentioned having had a transformative experience, where some experienced a change in their worldviews and perception of the type of education that each country in the Central American Integration System (SICA) should promote. For their final projects, participants had to generate a proposal for an ESD public policy and an action plan for the design of this policy in their countries. These proposals were an exercise that it is expected to generate actions to instill the vision of ESD in their countries’ education systems.

 

Participante Curso Politicas Publicas Educacion Desarrollo Sostenible

For the Earth Charter Center on ESD, it was a great satisfaction to have developed this process in a way that helped participants to have a better understanding about sustainability, ESD and ways to generate a public policy on ESD. Some participants expressed that this experience help to generate what some called “a change of paradigm” or “falling in love” with sustainability. The majority of the participants are Ministry of Education officials who have the potential to promote changes in national education policy, curricula, as well as to promote sustainable schools and teacher training programs on ESD. We hope to continue supporting the empowerment process of these participants, so they become agents of change in their institutions and contribute to the 2030 UN Education Agenda.

Curso UNESCO Carta de la Tierra Politicas Educacion Desarrollo Sostenible

Logo UNESCO Japan

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Environmental Education material for people with disabilities

A network of organizations that work with people with disabilities in Dominican Republic (called La Red Iberoamericana de Entidades de Personas con Discapacidad Física en la República Dominicana) published an environmental education material that is based on the Earth Charter (called Material Didáctico para Multiplicadores de Sensibilización en Medio Ambiente).

Daniel Abreu, an Earth Charter alumni who took the course on Education and Values for Sustainable Development, is one of the authors of this material.

A capacity-building process with twenty-five multipliers that live with some sort of disability was developed using this material.

A group of four people from these multipliers have been organizing a series of talks in public schools, reaching out to more than fifty students.

This material has been also used to train around thirty teachers of Dominican Republic’s public education system and around ten pedagogy experts. 

This brochure was also part of the training process. 

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Regional Workshop for the Caribbean on Education for Sustainable Development

On April 28-29, the Cropper Foundation, in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO Office for the Caribbean, organized a regional workshop in Port of Spain, capital of Trinidad and Tobago.  The meeting’s objectives were:

  • developing a comprehensive framework of DESD activities and initiatives which will involve bringing better synergy and thus coherence to activities underway, and catalyzing activities and initiatives to fill gaps and address areas which have been neglected to date 
  • identifying possible mechanisms which would allow for more effective coordination of DESD activities
  • enhancing networks and collaboration in support of the DESD
  • encouraging donor support for ESD activities within the Region

This workshop presented an opportunity to follow up on a previous workshop organized in October 2010, in Jamaica, to discuss and give inputs for the monitoring and evaluation process for the DESD.

Around 30 participants attended this meeting from a wide variety of countries, including Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis and Trinidad & Tobago. 

The meeting started with welcoming remarks from the Minister of Education of Trinidad & Tobago, as well as representatives from collaborating institutions such as the University of the West Indies, UNEP ROLAC, Caribbean Examinations Council and CARICOM.

Dr. Tim Gopeesingh, Minister of Education, shared about the commitment of the Trinidad and Tobago government to bring about changes in the curricula and methods of assessment, with the vision of having students that are socially integrated, physically fit and capable of realizing their potential.

The organizers prioritized discussions and group work over plenary talks.   Nonetheless, it was important to offer background information and analysis of the progress of the DESD to date, both globally and in the Caribbean Region.  It was also important to report on the monitoring and evaluation process for the Decade, and to offer examples of good practices on ESD.

The Earth Charter was presented in one of the plenary talks on good practices.  A description of how the Charter was used in a nation-wide teacher training process on ESD in Costa Rica was offered, in addition to an account of the process to build the Latin American and Caribbean Strategy for the DESD in 2006. 

On the first day, participants discussed in groups the main challenges to promoting ESD and implementing actions under the DESD context.  The lack of understanding of the concept of education for sustainable development was considered one of the main challenges.  There was agreement on the need for opening a discussion and dialogue process about the purpose of education, and to redefine it to meet the challenges that the region is currently facing. 
 
Other important challenges concern how to collaborate and coordinate efforts to promote ESD. To date there has been a fragmented approach to, as well as insufficient resources for, putting ESD into action.   There are a number of important steps that can be taken to address this, including capacity-building, generating research, using ICTs and media, and developing appropriate indicators to assess progress.

During the second day, participants identified various actions that ideally could be implemented to respond to the seven strategies for the DESD: 

  • Vision Building and Advocacy; Consultation and Ownership; and Partnerships and Networks
  • Capacity Building and Training
  • Research, Development and Innovation; Use of Information and Communications Technology; and Monitoring and Evaluation.

The inputs given by the participants were very relevant, with concrete suggestions for implementation.   The organizers will take all this information and generate a report (that will be uploaded here when available).

At the end of the meeting, a lively discussion started about the support needed and infrastructure required for moving forward with the implementation of ESD actions in the region, considering the inputs from this workshop.

Several participants proposed to ask the Cropper Foundation to take a leadership role for following up on some of the actions proposed here, and to make sure that the participants can continue to be in touch, sharing ideas and resources as well as collaborating on projects. 

In addition, each participant wrote some ideas about how the organizations they represent could contribute to the activities discussed in the meeting, and for the overall implementation of the DESD.

Find in this link the Meeting’s Final Report (to see it, right click the screen and select Show All. The pages can then be turned by clicking the bottom-right hand corner of the pages).  

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Dominican Ministry of Education Celebrates World Environment Day with Earth Charter Workshop

To celebrate World Environment Day, the Dominican Republic‘s State Ministry of Education organized a national workshop on the Earth Charter for school teachers. The Vice Minister of Education and the General Curriculum Director attended and participated in the workshop.

 

During the workshop, Earth Charter brochures and school materials made in Costa Rica were distributed to each of the attendees. Participants were asked to join activities featuring the Earth Charter and its principles, and to consider the possibility of integrating them, as appropriate to the various education levels, into the basic themes of the curriculum. The teachers were enthusiastic and eager to include these materials at the beginning of the school year.

 

Prior to this workshop, the State Ministry of Education included the Earth Charter in its newsletter. 10,000 copies were printed and distributed to both education professionals and the general public.

                           

                         

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