Greening the Caribbean Curriculum
The people who will ultimately fulfil CARICOM’s sustainable development goals are currently sitting in classrooms across the Caribbean. Those students will soon be developing and implementing clean energy policies and renewable energy programmes that will enable the region to proceed into its clean energy future. In order to take up the mantle, they need a firm grounding in the changes coming to the regional energy landscape.
To provide that foundation, TAPSEC collaborated with the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and the University of Guyana in 2020 to invite educators from across the region to plan, design and develop an updated curriculum. This new Green Education curriculum aimed to “mainstream ‘greening’ learning concepts” by integrating renewable energy and energy efficiency into the existing syllabi of 11 CSEC and CAPE subjects. TAPSEC further facilitated a Winter Boot Camp and 25 sensitisation workshops in order to ensure that teachers were prepared to deliver the updated curricula to their students.
This was the culmination of a three-year initiative to update and improve regional teaching materials and methods. The goal was to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to face 21st-century challenges such as sustainable energy development and climate change. It began in 2018 with the GIZ-funded Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance (REETA) programme, which supported the development of a digital toolkit for the new Green Engineering Syllabus, teacher training and a concept paper encouraging the move to “green” the CXC curriculum.
During CARICOM Energy Month 2021, TAPSEC facilitated the Green Table Talk series, which was held to introduce the public to the Greening Education initiative. The two-part series explored the curriculum updates and how they would empower Caribbean youths to participate in the region’s SMART future. In December of 2021, more than 700 educators from 10 Caribbean countries turned out for a TAPSEC-supported virtual workshop with CXC officials. Over three days of interactive sessions, they learned techniques to incorporate these new “green” concepts into their classrooms.
With the benefit of these new “green” syllabi, delivered by trained teachers, students across the Caribbean will soon emerge into the world with an understanding the regional importance of sustainability and a personal mission to safeguard their nations from the threats of climate change. As this new generation begins to take an active role in directing national development pathways, they will ensure that the region’s sustainable development goals are in safe hands.