Environmental and Sustainability Education Workshop organized For Teacher Education and Theological Colleges in Ethiopia completed from June 16-17, 2017 in Hawassa. Jointly facilitated by Hawassa College of Teachers’ Education, EGST and Leuphana University Luneburg, Germany the workshop involved 22 deans and instructors from five government colleges, four theological seminaries and EGST.
Addressing the workshop participants, Mr Abera Argo, Dean of Hawassa CTE and Chairperson of the Southern Ethiopia CTE Network acknowledged the participation of all Deans of CTE and welcomed Dilla CTE as new members of the network. He further appreciated the joint efforts of all stakeholders in contributing for the success of the workshop and particularly recognized the roles of EGST and Leuphana University in leading the initiative.
In his welcome address to the participants, Dr Misgana Mathewos Director of EGST remarked that ‘this training programme has brought together people who lead institutions that prepare teachers for public schools and theological institutions that prepare people for church ministries.’ He further noted that ‘as key leaders from teacher education colleges and theological colleges, we have double responsibility to equip the next generation of teachers and students for the betterment of southern region and Ethiopia at large. Since this is an important progress towards something bigger as we dream and strive together to make the world a better place for generations to come, such event helps us to create learning and sharing of experiences and best practices.’
In an email message to the organizers, Drs Maik Adomßent and Daniel Fischer from Leuphana University , Germany said that ‘although we cannot join you this time – we are considering ourselves as a part of your networks and will seek to contribute to its further institutionalization, strengthening and mainstreaming.’
Mr Mamo Godebo, Deputy Director and Director’s Delegate for Environmental Protection and Forestry Authority of the SNNP Regional State in his key note address emphasized that ‘the role of teachers and students in environmental protection is highly regarded through curriculum and extra-curricular activities’. ‘Since the focus of the workshop is on environmental and sustainability education, it is directly related to the goals and objectives of our institution. Therefore, we welcome the partnership and assure our commitment to create an enabling condition and close cooperation’.
Education Bureau Deputy Head and Teachers’ and Education Development Main Work Process Owner of the region, Mr Mathewos Maldaye opened the workshop officially. ‘Since quality education is one of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals, the training of quality teachers is key to achieve environmental and sustainability education. This training enables the professional development of teachers in our region and we extend our gratitude to EGST and Leuphana University for supporting this initiative sine 2015’ he stated. ‘I trust the colleges and seminaries will strengthen and expand the outcomes of this initiative and the Education Bureau will provide the necessary support’ Mr Mathewos confirmed.
Issues covered during the two day workshop include progress reports from the nine colleges, the two networks and EGST with question and answer session and plenary discussions; presentations and discussions on Handbook for Environmental and Sustainability Education; a joint international research project to improve the Lives of Indigenous and Marginalized Youth; and an action plan for 2017/18.
The participants agreed to conduct two conferences each year in December and May where the next one will be hosted by Hosanna College of Teachers’ Education in Hosanna, Hadiya Zonal Administration.
Participants evaluated the workshop and recommended for more engagement, inclusion of female teachers, allocation of more time and practical fieldwork, expansion of the initiative to faith leaders and other institutions. EGST and the two networks are commended to coordinate the overall annual conferences and joint research.
The workshop was widely featured by Southern TV and Radio.