Pulitzer Center leading the way in environmental education in Congolese schools

DRC, Kisangani, 24 August 2022. About thirty city teachers have been trained to teach environmental issues in primary and secondary schools. Among them were French, history, geography, physics and civics teachers. The training took place at the University of Kisangani's primary school. This training is part of a new project called Carrefour des enseignants du Bassin du Congo.

by Jean Fundi Kiparamoto, +243 851 641 833 / +243 827 048 699, email: journalkaribu@gmail.com

French version

Answering in turn, most participants said they had only a rough idea of how to protect tropical forests. Few of them had any notion of that. André Muleko is a prefect of study at IFCEPS (Institut de Formation des Cadres de l'Enseignement Primaire et Secondaire). He was pleased with a workshop that met what he has always done with the help of the students:

" We have already planted trees all around to protect the school buildings from the wind."

After the tour, the trainer Eric Selemani emphasised that knowledge of the problem is not enough:

" Beyond awareness, you have to act, you have to get involved in the protection of the forests. If a known erosion head leads to a landslide, it is everyone's responsibility."

The workshop programme included environmental citizenship education, teaching strategies, lesson plans based on the Pulitzer Center model and group work. The groups were asked to think about identifying at least three methods related to teaching about climate change and the protection of tropical forests. The general trend was to use what children love, such as drawing and pictures. Secondly, pedagogical practices such as class walks and debates in school groups. The groups generally proposed using colour materials, including comics, posters, leaflets and videos. One group suggested inserting the issue of environmental protection into the school's internal regulations to attract parents' attention and, as part of the manual work course, to initiate pupils to plant, maintain and protect trees in school environments. Yet another group saw fit to start with:

" Looking for the course branches where the environmental aspect can be integrated; developing a programme related to forest protection, i.e. the role of trees, the consequences of deforestation and its remedies; organising work in groups of students, who exhibit and debate under the supervision of the teacher."

The workshop ended with an invitation to teachers to join the Congo Basin Teachers' Hub, a WhatsApp group of useful information. Some of the participants talked to Journal Karibu, like Catherine Tubekumbo, a headmistress of Makiso Primary School :

" In any case, I will, first of all, thank God who gave me this opportunity to participate in this seminar. It is very informative for me. I didn't know how to protect the forest. I now have something to teach the little children to plant trees and the importance of protecting the school environment."

Also as coordinator of the AAJC, a Congolese Young Agriculturers Association, Catherine intends to popularise the planting of trees to breathe the air under the shade, alongside the city gardens. To the organiser, she expressed the wish for another workshop to train more teachers. As for the role of the state, André Muleko remains rather realistic about the involvement of the state. Even if IFCEPS is a public school, he thinks that they have to start somewhere.

The training was organised with the support of the Pulitzer Centre in collaboration with the Provincial Ministry of EPST (Enseignement Primaire et Secondaire et Technique) in Tshopo province.


Date de dernière mise à jour : jeudi, 10 novembre 2022