PRAMOD KUMAR SHARMA
What is the high point of the programme for you? What are your hopes/dreams/visions for the programme?
The Eco-Schools programme is entering into the 25th year of engaging young people in taking positive actions that transform them for life. The impact of the programme is well recognized and appreciated by stakeholders that range from the UN organization to the communities in which a school is situated.
Over the years the programme has grown to have an outreach of about 52000 schools in 67 countries. This is a big achievement and the seven-step methodology has stood the test of time as an effective pedagogy across different contexts of educational systems, types of schools, cultural and socio-economic conditions.
The global agreement on Sustainable Development Goals provides us with an exciting opportunity to engage 19 million students being supported by 1.4 million teachers. The possibilities are immense and being part of this transformative process is exciting!
Running such a large programme has its own sets of challenges. We have the programme at different stages of evolution and maturity in different countries. I am amazed at the sense of fraternity amongst the Eco-Schools national operators that help in supporting new members to shorten the learning curve. Most of the educational resources are openly shared and are available for the schools and teachers at no cost.
What are the plans for the coming year?
We all are looking forward to the Eco-Schools 25th anniversary. It gives us an opportunity to celebrate the milestone, look back and reflect on our journey and chart our future course. I am looking forward to the FEE General Assembly being hosted this week in Latvia and National Operators meeting scheduled later in Ireland to firm up our plans.
Servicing and supporting such a large network with so much diversity is a challenge. Some of the members are using the opportunities created by ICT effectively. We are looking at how we can use the technology to communicate efficiently and effectively. We will see more use of technologies for professional development. To start with, one of the priorities is to develop an online learning platform for the National Operators.
The other key thrust would be regional cooperation amongst members. We already have two networks that have been initiated and we are excited by the possibilities it creates for having large projects to have learning and sharing for larger impacts.
We are also looking at how we can document the work, create evidence through research and engage stakeholders to generate more partnerships, generate resources and support the Agenda 2030!
I am happy to be part of the Eco-Schools Dream Team!