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A vision begins with talk but becomes a reality only with action - ESD in Schools

“One generation goes and another generation comes; but the Earth remains forever

Ecclesiastes 1:4


The concept of sustainability is based on the premise that people and their communities are made up of social, economic, and environmental systems that are in constant interaction and that must be kept in harmony or balance if the community is to continue to function to the benefit of its inhabitants— now and in the future. A healthy, balanced society (or nation, or community, depending on the strength of one’s magnifying glass) is one that can endure into the future, providing a decent way of life for all its members—it is a sustainable society. Sustainability is an ideal toward which to strive and against which to weigh proposed actions, plans, expenditures, and decisions.

As an enabling factor for the multiple dimensions of societal development, Quality Education is a key lever for sustainable development. It plays a crucial role in shaping personal and collective identities, promoting critical social capital and cohesiveness, and responsible citizenship based on principles of respect for life, human dignity and cultural diversity.

The achievement of this vision demands a single harmonized education framework and due to it in acknowledgement of the importance of ESD, the Republic of Kenya, through the Ministry of Education, appealed to the State of Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – MASHAV to establish a joint project directed towards improving the educational system of the Republic of Kenya.

 

The Program is conceived as a joint-directive between Kenya’s Ministry of Education, The A.Ofri International Training Center -MASHAV, with the great support of the Organization of School Principals in Kenya -KEPSHAand developed in collaboration with The Institute for Education for Sustainable Development at the David Yellin Teachers Academic College of Education in Israel.

 

Untill now About 150 Kenyan educators have been trained in Israel on ESD and today they represent the pioneers and the TOT in the subject, the main objective is to reach a National Network of ESD driven demonstration centers implemented through the support of KEPSHA Principals in the 47 counties of Kenya.

   

 But to reach the goals of this vision there is a very importantneed. And it deals with the empowerment of the “EDUCATORS”!!

 

Everything depends on the educator, they must lead by example. The quality of the education provided and its potential to affect positive change in the wider world is dependent upon each individual educator and is shaped by their unique personality and experiences.  The goal of the educator must be to realize the truth in his own personality and to convey this realization to the pupil. (Buber in Hodes 1972: 146) Consequently, educators must begin by looking at themselves. They must ask themselves what is truly important to them and examine and improve the way they act. Once this individual process has taken place, the individual must then broaden their horizons to include larger spheres of life and finally the greater world around us.

 

I believe that Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) has a huge impact and it involves all aspects of the educator's role, stepping on this kind of education path with talk but it became a reality due to the visionary support of  all the educators within KEPSHA, KESHA, KICD,KEMI and the Ministry of Education in Kenya.

 

However, it is imperative to remember that education is a responsibility shared by all members of the community as the great Wangari Maathai said “In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground.  A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other, that time is now”

… Let’s do it together

Yudith Rosenthal

Director of the Ofri Center