Climate-Smart Education Initiative Overview
In partnership with Climate Solutions Advancement Network (ClimateSAN), CharityHelp International (CHI) is in the process of developing a climate-smart education initiative that would leverage the benefits of and revenues generated by biochar. To provide some background for this planned initiative, see the below introduction:
Opportunity to Implement Biochar and Climate-Smart Education on a Global Scale
Introduction to CHI’s Planned Climate-Smart Education (CSE) Initiative
CHI will be focused on the education component of this planned initiative, and ClimateSAN will be focused on the Biochar component.
Background: Growth of Free Education Resources and Communication Technologies
A combination of new technologies, communications infrastructure and free educational information is creating a substantial opportunity to support education in developing countries. There are now free eLibraries of educational content available that anyone, anywhere can download onto a computer and share with other digital devices. By combining access to this offline educational content with Internet access, students can communicate with teachers and volunteer coaches in other parts of the world using free video conferencing services like Google Meet or Skype and email to enable an integrated educational experience. An example of this approach has been implemented by Professor Sugata Mitra, who has been engaging volunteers in the UK to motivate children in India to learn via Skype.
Our planned initiative will help to seize this opportunity by demonstrating this approach and helping other organizations utilize these free educational resources. In addition, we plan to help other organizations learn how they can access funding to support implementing climate-smart education, including earning carbon credits by producing and utilizing biochar.
Building a Master offline eLibrary
CHI and its partner, ClimateSAN observed that there has been a substantial growth of free educational information that could be provided to students in developing countries at virtually no cost. Therefore, CHI is in the process of building a master eLibrary of free educational information for this purpose.
Bringing it All Together with Remote Coaching
Bringing all of these converging trends together is the support of remote coaches. In many cases, the amount of information available through free eLibraries of educational content can be overwhelming for a student to process without the support of a guide to help work through challenging concepts and for encouragement. The goal of the planned CSE Initiative’s planned coaching program is to match students to coaches that can inspire students to learn from their available resources and, as Professor Mitra suggests, from each other.
Pilot Program and Initial Scale-Up Strategy
We’re planning to launch a pilot program with selected training centers in Africa. However, this is just one step in the direction of realizing the potential of this opportunity. To help realize this potential more quickly, we plan to work with ClimateSAN to introduce the benefits of combining biochar and climate-smart education to many other organizations. Given below is an outline of an initial scale-up strategy:
- Partner with additional agricultural and/or climate technology training centres to demonstrate what can be done on a global scale.
- Compile and publish resources about how existing educational institutions worldwide can use new educational resources to support their work. For example, see the webpage showing a wide range of educational eLibraries that can be downloaded for offline viewing by students: Open Education Resources To Go (OER2Go).
- Introduce the opportunity to generate income from biochar production and utilization, to several different communities including the ones shown below:
- Agricultural training
- Climate action
- Girls’ and women’s education
- Entrepreneurship facilitation
- Population growth awareness
- Provide scholarships for women and girls, who are interested in technologies and solutions that can generate income and help mitigate climate change.
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