The international framework of Eco-Schools was developed by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) as a response to the needs identified at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992. The main objective of Eco-Schools Programme is to interpret the tenets of Education for Sustainable Education into practice. Today the Programme is running in 68 countries around the world, including Rwanda.
It is noteworthy that the Rwandan education system has recently adopted the Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC), with the aim to develop a knowledge-based and market competent society in line with sustainable global development. In like fashion, the Eco-Schools Programme aims therefore to strengthen and support the existing national initiatives and commitments aiming to improving the quality of education as well as promoting education for sustainable development.
Diane Uwimpaye, Eco-Schools Programme Coordinator, stressed that since January 2020, the Eco-School Programme is being implemented in ten schools scatted in four district (Bugesera, Kirehe, Rulindo and Rutsiro).
“Our approach translates the principles of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) into practice by infusing environmental education, action-based learning and student-centred teaching methods into primary and secondary education.” Said Uwimpaye. She added that soon, the Eco-Schools Programme will be implemented in 35 schools around the country.
Uwimpaye mentioned also that, so far, the program started applying an action oriented 7-step change process where through student-led Eco-Schools committees, embedded in student learning through environmental themes such as Energy, Water, Waste and Climate Change, with more emphasis on real life situations; development, leadership capacity, lowering environmental footprints and lifelong learning for a sustainable world towards Eco-certification for a Green Flag.
Since 2020, with funding from Civil Society in Development (CISU) through Danish Outdoor Council (DOC), the Eco-Schools Programme is being implemented by Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS) in partnership with the Government of Rwanda through its different bodies.