Care and Support for Teaching and Learning (CSTL) is an innovative approach that responds to the millions of children and youth in the SADC region whose right to education is compromised by a host of barriers to quality teaching and learning. In an effort to support the education sector to strengthen their systems so that schools are able to serve as sites of integrated support where quality education is secured, an online community – CSTL Pulse – was launched in May 2021.
An initiative of SADC and supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Save the Children International, CSTL Pulse has proved to be a valuable tool to mobilize knowledge sharing across key areas of the education ecosystem by connecting the SADC CSTL teaching and learning community with the common goal to improve African education.
CSTL is a framework that mandates and guides the SADC Ministries of Education,
Miss and Mr Climate Change are determined to make their voices heard. Chosen at the Climate Change convention held by Fort Rixon Secondary School, their role is to bring about awareness of the impact of climate change in the local context.
One of the major challenges faced by Zimbawe’s FutureLife-Now! school communities is a lack of unity and differing perceptions when it comes to the value of education. While schools provide education to afford opportunities for learners to have a better future, many parents do not always support this, and instead promote practices such as child marriages, gold panning and working as herd boys.
In a quest to forge unity between the schools and the community, the FutureLife-Now! team hosts events and workshops that bring all community stakeholders together. One example of this is the Miss and Mr Climate Change convention, hosted by Fort Rixon Secondary School on 30 June 2022.
In Lesotho, the coming together of two important ministries – education and health – has had a major impact on learners’ access to health services. At the centre of this ground-breaking development are Lesotho’s 10 FutureLife-Now! schools.
In 2021, the FutureLife-Now! team, in consultation with the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry of Health, developed a two-way referral tool that linked schools with their health centres. The aim of this initiative was to overcome barriers and make it easier for adolescents to obtain the health services they need by strengthening the linkages between health and education.
By September 2021, all 10 FutureLife-Now! schools had started using these referral forms, and learners were finding it easier to access health services, especially sexual reproductive health (SRH) and HIV services. One of the central goals of FutureLife-Now! is to reduce HIV infections amongst adolescents and increase ART adherence.
Agency is key to addressing the many challenges confronting youth in the SADC region. Young people need space to design and share best practices for addressing climate change challenges.
Realising this, FutureLife-Now! schools in Malawi’s Lilongwe district held a climate change jamboree on 6 May 2022 at Chinsapo Secondary School. The event brought together school-going youth and provided the opportunity to share knowledge and hold exhibitions.
The participating schools included Chinsapo Secondary School, Mbinzi Community Day Secondary School, Ngowe Community Day Secondary School and Bwaila Secondary School. With the theme of “Young People Against Climate Change”, the event aimed to empower young people to make decisions and take action towards addressing the problems created by climate change. The jamboree was attended by 150 learners and 10 teachers from all four schools. Clement Makuwa from the National Youth Network on Climate Change (NYNCC) was the guest of honour.
David Ramushu Secondary School in Zambia is situated in a community where many of its people are malnourished and do not have access to fresh fruit and vegetables. It is for this reason that the school began a food gardening project in September last year. The plan was not only to give the community access to fresh produce, but to create buffer stocks that would meet the growing demand for produce and efficiently cope with volatilities in food production.
The growing issue of climate change has further exacerbated the situation. “The rising temperature experienced in our country and community has led to soil degradation which in turn has led to a loss of productivity in our agricultural land,” says Richard Bwalya Ngoma, FutureLife-Now! focal person in Zambia.
To help the school achieve its aim, FutureLife-Now! Supplied the equipment needed for the food garden project, such as hoes,