UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa, in partnership with SADC hosted a meeting to review the findings of a desk based study conducted to ascertain the level of integration of Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and Southern African Liberation History (SALH) in secondary school curricula in the SADC countries. The study was conducted by a team of consultants from the Human Rights Documentation Centre of the University of Namibia.
The virtual meeting brought together history, GCED and curriculum development experts from the SADC region to provide their views on the study findings, which are based on an analysis of curricula from 13 SADC countries namely Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Seychelles, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The study has provided evidence that all 13 countries reviewed have in one way or the other integrated GCED in their syllabi and curricula. GCED is mainly taught at the secondary school level in subjects such as Life Orientation, Social Studies, Heritage, Civic, History and Geography. The study revealed that most countries teach liberation history within the national boundaries and little about the regional dimensions which limits its potential to develop values such as solidarity , tolerance and a peaceful living together.
Misheck Munthali, Director of Teacher Education and Development at the Ministry of Education in Malawi said, “We should indeed move strongly from theory in the curriculum to the practical issues of lived global citizenship (and the values entailed)”.
Dylan Wray, Director of Shikaya and history teacher from South Africa noted the importance of learning each other’s history.
If we learn each other's history and the connections in our regional history – we can limit xenophobia.
-- Dylan Wray, Director of Shikaya
Echoing this, another expert argued that the initiative could lead to an Africa where peace and security are engendered towards sustainable economic growth, sustainable development and global competitiveness.
The experts made recommendations on the way forward to strengthen GCED and SALH in education systems in SADC countries.
As a next step, UNESCO will commission the development of a Roadmap, which will provide guidance on the integration of GCED and SALH in schools programmes as well as teaching and learning practices in SADC countries.
UNESCO and SADC promote regional integration, social cohesion, and peaceful coexistence in the region, targeting especially youth through the teaching of GCED and SALH.