Ten Countries Participate in GLOBE International Training Workshop/Regional Meeting
An International Training Workshop took place in Niamey, Niger, during the week of 21 November 2005. The Niger Ministry of Education and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) graciously hosted the workshop at the Ecole des Mines, de l'Industrie et de la Géologie (EMIG). The training team came from Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo (Brazzaville), Gabon, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and the United States. Nearly 70 participants attended, including primary and secondary school teachers, school inspectors, school administrators, and Ministries of Education officials. In addition, there were participants from Peace Corps, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and two regional science centers, the Institute International de Recherche sur les Cultures des Zones Tropicales Semi-arides (ICRISAT) and the African Center of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD).
Madame Djibrillou Safia Moustapha, GLOBE Country Coordinator for Niger, organized an outstanding workshop for French-speaking Africa. Many thanks are extended to Madame Djibrillou, her staff and Monsieur Hamani Harouna, Ministre de l'Education de Base et de l'Alphabétisation.
The workshop provided the forum to bring together many teachers, administrators and scientists. Niamey was an ideal location to hold a workshop for French-speaking African countries since the city is the center for many regional research organizations such as ACMAD and ICRISAT. These organizations coordinate many education and outreach activities and are eager to work with GLOBE schools on local and regional projects. In addition, both organizations work with scientists at universities and national meteorological services throughout Africa.
Trainers and participants worked closely together to learn how to perform and use the scientific protocols and educational materials. As well, they discussed classroom and national implementation strategies. Both new and experienced GLOBE partner countries were represented. Many countries are including GLOBE in the national curricula. Niger, which recently joined GLOBE in August 2005, is revising their environmental education curriculum with plans to include GLOBE materials.
An important theme of the workshop focused on how to conduct GLOBE student research. Those teachers and trainers who have participated with GLOBE for many years shared numerous examples of student research that are of relevance to students in the region. Topics included malaria, climate change, and desertification.
In addition to over 60 new GLOBE trainers certified, there are now two additional International Master Trainers and five Assistant Master Trainers that will work to increase the capacity of French-speaking countries in Africa to hold regional workshops and student research activities independently of the GLOBE Program Office.
The workshop ended with many new friendships, ideas for collaborations, and ways to improve the teaching science and math. Discussions continued at a Regional Country Coordinator meeting on Saturday, November 26, after the workshop ended. National representatives are developing strategies to strengthen both national and regional implementation.
10 January 2006