On February 23, the Ministry of Education organised for 75 social science teachers to meet in the library of the Government High School where they attended a seminar on how to teach climate change to their students. (BIS Photo / Gena Gibbs).
Bahamas – Seventy-five Bahamian high school teachers attended a climate change
seminar to learn how to prepare their students to understand the natural
changes happening in the environment. The Ministry of Education hosted the 2012
workshop for teachers, as part of their professional development strategy to
expand the studies of social sciences and spread the word about the importance
of conservation in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
“We want to
develop clear and consistent messages about climate change from the education
level to the policy level. There are three kinds of articles in the media
about climate change," said Lisa Benjamin, chairwoman for the Public
Education and Outreach (PEO) Sub-Committee, under the National Climate Change
"One is alarmist and the other is
overly optimistic. None of those approaches really enhance engagement,”
Shelly Cant of the Bahamas National Trust shows teachers a presentation on climate change, after which she tested how much knowledge they absorbed by directing the participation in a Jeopardy-style game (BIS Photo / Gena Gibbs).
said the approach in the past has been pragmatic/optimist to engage people to
help in adapting to climate change. "We have to be sensitive when we are
conveying something negative to young people.”
23rd, the Bahamas National Trust and the College of the Bahamas collaborated
efforts in the library of the Government High School, The BNT also distributed
a locally produced comic book on the subject called “Who tief muh conch?” which
was developed by the PEO sub-committee.
explained that the workshops cover three years of information sharing.
They are targeted to benefit educators, journalists, and policymakers to help
citizens make an effortless transition to adapting to climate change.
Lisa Benjamin, the Chairwoman for the Public Education and Outreach (PEO) Sub-Committee, speaks to teachers about the comic book designed under the National Climate Change Committee. (BIS Photo / Gena Gibbs).
“One of the
primary obligations of the National Climate Change Committee is to submit a
report that The Bahamas sends to the UN to tell them how we are being affected
by climate change and what we are trying to do,” said Ms. Benjamin.
“The focus of
our first year was on education. So, we reviewed the National Curriculum
to look at climate change content. We asked what we could do to help to
further climate change in the curriculum. They told us they wanted us to
provide educational materials and tailored workshops for educators on topics
for the workshops.”
introducing the subcommittee, Ms. Benjamin reviewed the contents of the comic
book on climate change to point out the parts that teachers should bring to
their students attention. It has Bahamian dialect, it’s situated in The
Bahamas, and concentrates on local issues.
that we want to send out is that clearly climate change is happening and you
can teach climate change, as part of on going environmental education on
conservation”, said Ms. Benjamin.
“There is an
existing comic book out there by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)
and it’s focused on the international affects of climate change. They
actually encourage you to take that comic book and create a nationally
appropriate one. And that's what we did.”
Cant made a presentation on what climate change is and what Bahamians can do to
mitigate its negative effects and adapt to the natural changes in the