Building capacity to develop learning support materials


05-December-2011

Delegates producing LSMs through group work

The education sector plays an important role in the sustainable development of southern Africa, since it reaches the region’s young people, and can contribute directly to change at community and institutional level. Therefore, the need to build capacity in developing learning support materials to strengthen innovative practice for change and learn together for a sustainable future is very important for the region.

Recently, the SADC REEP organised a one-week workshop which started by a two-day EE-ICT course to empower participants from small islands member states (Seychelles and Mauritius) to use ICTs to develop learning support materials (LSM) for Environmental Education and Education for Sustainable Development (EE-ESD) for their respective countries.

ICTs have been identified as an enabler for social, economic and educational development. The aim of the course was to impart skills to delegates from Mauritius and Seychelles that would permit them to develop new and consolidate existing LSMs using ICTs in order to make them available and accessible to all users in the region.

During the short course, delegates were able to learn how to create several items using IT such as a repository of researched information for material development, a basic website (web-based materials), a video lesson or video documentary, a podcast and an E-book.

They also learned how to use e-learning for discussion and collaboration purposes. The course was facilitated by Maurice Nkusi, head of instructional technology from the Polytechnic of Namibia (University of Science and Technology) and consultant of SADC REEP.

The next couple of days, Dick Kachilonda, SADC REEP programme officer for Networking and Materials Developments, took the delegates through a LSMs development workshop aimed at enhancing the capacity of environmental education practitioners in the production of appropriate and effective LSMs to support Environmental Education and Education for Sustainable Development in the region.

Delegates were able to use skills they have acquired during the first two days to develop LSM.

In addition, they were also able to learn about good facilitation skills as well as monitoring and evaluation in EE/ESD projects and programmes.

Visiting Praslin secondary school to see the environmental education projects being implemented there

At the end of the workshop, delegates were very happy with what they had learned and discussed ways in which they can use the newly acquired skills and knowledge to improve their current practices.

More importantly is that a network of environmental educators has been created and Mr Nkusi has created an e-Learning platform on the internet for more collaboration and continued learning and sharing.

The workshop, which was facilitated and funded by both SADC REEP and the Environment Department, was attended by staff from the Environment Department, school teachers, lecturers from UniSey, members of different NGOs that deal with the environment education and other stakeholders as well as two delegates from Mauritius.

The regional delegates also had the opportunity to visit some schools to see the environmental education projects being implemented there.

They felt that it was a fruitful workshop, and one which will benefit them in their environmental education programmes in future.

The organisers on their part, felt that the success of the workshop was due to the full support and commitments of both the local organisers and delegates and said that they were amazed with the cooperation and teamwork before, during and after the workshop.

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