Environment360 and the Accra District of GES have launched the Green Schools Academy in 23 schools within the Greater Accra District. The Green Schools Academy is a pilot program that is enabling teachers to bring environmental education into classrooms through the provision of training and educational resources such as games and songs.
The program, which is funded by the UNDP Waste Recovery and Innovation Challenge, was scheduled to start last year. However, due to COVID-19, the program is just now making its way into schools. Despite the setbacks, Environment360 and GES have managed to train 23 teachers during the past 3 months, which are expected to provide environmental education to more than 1,100 children this academic school year.
The GES Accra District is excited for the roll-out of the program and is looking forward to the impact it.
Environment360 has provided environmental education for more than 10,000 children in the past five years and is hoping that the Green School Academy can sustainably scale the organization’s educational model at a quicker pace. “We have been honored to work with schools in various educational districts in Accra and Kumasi. However, we also understand that to increase our impact and make the program sustainable, partners like GES are critical. As a result, we are hoping this teacher’s training program is the first step to handing over ownership of our school programs to Ghana Education Service,” says Cordie Aziz-Nash, the Founder and Executive Director of Environment360.
UNDP funded the challenge under its advocacy and awareness component of the Waste Recovery Platform. “We believe this program will increase the number of students practicing sustainable waste management habits. It will also empower the students to promote these practices among their friends and family members”, noted Paolo Dalla Stella, Head of Environment and Climate Cluster of UNDP in Ghana.
Environment360 and GES Accra District office co-created the Green Schools Academy training program, with the support of Friends in Need and the University of Maastricht. FIN provided the base of the curriculum, which has been used in India. That material has then been adapted for local use with the help of Environment360 and GES Accra District. University of Maastricht has been a critical partner in helping to develop the baseline information for the program. They will also be supporting the metrics and evaluation of the program during the next few months.
The Green Schools Academy is expected to be an annual program. It is anticipated that private organizations and sponsors will support the training program in order to cover the fees associated with the program, allowing teachers to attend for free. The program also intends to generate funds through the sale of its programming material to private schools.