No fewer than 100 schools and communities are to benefit from the teaching of two of the 17 United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Edo State by the Initiative for Climate Education and Energy Awareness (ICEEA).
The President of the NGO, Mr Victor Osehobo, stated in an interview that, so far, the two benefitting schools are Winrose Secondary School in Obe and Phelim High School in Ugbor, adding that 98 other schools were on the waiting list.
He added that ICEEA’s interest in teaching the SDGs and especially Goals 13 and 7 is aimed at raising awareness on issues of climate change and clean energy which is at a very low ebb among the general public in most parts of the state if not the country.
“We found out on a survey that most schools in Edo do not have geography teachers while schools with such teachers do not have Climate Awareness or Environment clubs at a time the while world is worried about global warming seen in high temperatures, rainfalls, mudslides, floods, hurricanes and so on.”
The ICEEA President, who called on the state government to as a matter of priority give scholarships to geography students at Colleges of Education and Universities, said it would reduce the dearth of the subject teachers in the state schools.
On the two SDGs of ICEEA project which he said respectively talks about taking climate action and affordable and clean energy, Mr Osehobo added that they are being taught without forgetting that all of the 17 goals are interrelated and designed to end poverty, protect the planet and reduce inequalities.
On the modalities adopted, he said that it is through the establishment of Climate Awareness Clubs and inauguration of Goals Ambassadors in the schools and neighbouring communities with children and youths, women and resource poor men as beneficiaries.
“Through these clubs we teach people the impacts of climate change and how to reduce their carbon footprints, what is renewable energy and by so doing inform, educate and cultivate among them an admiration and concern for the Earth’s future”.
He added, “Our plan is to have these clubs in about 100 communities and schools in the state so that community dwellers like women, children and youths as well as resource poor men being the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change learn to adapt by taking action.
“We believe that the Climate Awareness Clubs will help members to actively lead and participate in the climate change and clean energy awareness activities and take personal action to contribute to adapting to climate change impacts.”
Osehobo said all the Goal Ambassadors were receiving training to become climate leaders who connect with others to create awareness about climate change and adaptation strategies in a manner that will help them to lead, identify and solve environmental problems in the future.