What impact does climate change have on education, especially in areas which are vulnerable to climate disasters and extreme weather events? In this report, we explore the impact of climate change on schools and learning in six counties in Kenya (Nairobi, Mombasa, Turkana, Tana River, Kwale and Kilifi).
Through a series of interviews and focus group discussions, we asked learners, out-of-school youth, community members, teachers and headteachers about the impacts of climate change on their lives. We found that the direct and indirect impacts of climate change on education are wide-ranging and complex, causing perceived learning loss and disruption to schooling. Indirect impacts ranged from reduced school attendance in the face of conflict due to water shortages, to crop failures resulting in hungry children struggling to concentrate at school. Intersectionality was found to play a substantial role in risk, with children with disabilities disproportionately negative directly and indirectly impacted.
We also sought to identify key areas for intervention. Participants’ suggestions included improving school feeding programmes and community education options to mitigate the impacts of climate change on school attendance and students’ ability to learn. Other adaptive actions included setting up contingency funds to ensure schools are repaired quickly in the event of damage due to climate events, and improvement of school infrastructure to minimise the likelihood of damage. Remote learning options are also considered as an important potential adaptive action to ensure learning can continue when schools are forced to close.
The report also identifies the different ways in which education for climate change can be improved, from reforming the climate change curriculum to provide a rounded picture of the causes of climate change (alongside locally relevant information), to using schools as hubs for change and learning within communities.
What impact does climate change have on education, especially in areas which are vulnerable to climate disasters and extreme weather events? In this report, we explore the impact of climate change on schools and learning in six counties in Kenya (Nairobi, Mombasa, Turkana, Tana River, Kwale and Kilifi).Download now
What impact does climate change have on education, especially in areas which are vulnerable to climate disasters and extreme weather events? In this report, we explore the impact of climate change on schools and learning in Turkana County, Kenya, and consider how to engage learners and schools in building resilience to climate change in the future.
Climate change matters for education – and education matters in the fight against climate change. As this issue rightly continues to generate public and policy attention, it is critical that the connections between climate change and education are not overlooked. The risks posed to learners by the changing climate are very real – especially in low-and-middle-income contexts – but we must also carefully consider how education could mitigate aspects of this huge global challenge.
Following research into climate change and education in Kenya, Education Development Trust (EDT) are undertaking research to better understand the relationship between climate and environmental change and education in Rwanda. This working paper outlines emerging findings from a survey with school leaders across the country.
Alongside the ongoing learning crisis exacerbated by Covid-19, it remains as urgent as ever for education systems to respond to climate change. In many countries, extreme weather, floods and droughts are already causing disruption to schools and research shows that climate vulnerability is detrimental to learning outcomes. At the same time, emerging evidence shows education as a valuable tool for helping people adapt to climatic shocks, calculate risks and embed sustainable practices in their daily lives. So, what do we know about the role of education in the fight against climate change and what further research is needed to effectively address the intersecting crises of learning and climate?