The Pacific region is one of the featured regions in the landmark publication “Climate Change and the Role of Education”. Published by Springer, a global imprint that serves and supports the research community, the book offers insights into the educational dimensions of climate change and promotes measures to improve education in this context.
The Pacific region is well represented in the publication, with a number of chapters exploring the role of education in dealing with climate change, disaster risk reduction and sustainable energy in Pacific Island countries.
One chapter focuses on the “Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in Resilience (Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction) in the Pacific: Opportunities and Challenges in Climate Change Education”.
It was co-authored by team members from the European Union Pacific Technical and Vocational Education and Training (EU PacTVET) Project which has been working to mainstream climate change adaptation and sustainable energy in tertiary curricula in the region since 2014. The project is jointly implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC) and University of the South Pacific.
“Addressing climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the Pacific has resulted in a number of informal capacity building workshops where community members are trained on different aspects of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction,” said EU PacTVET Team Leader Amelia Siga, who is one of the authors of the chapter on RPL.
“However, many training events did not include formal assessments, and there was no process to recognise prior learning acquired during informal workshops.
The European Union Pacific Technical and Vocational Education and Training (EU PacTVET) project partnered with Fiji Higher Education Commission to focus on how to assess the acquired skills and credit the learners to then complete a resilience qualification.
“Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) creates opportunities for people who acquired skills during informal workshops or through their personal experience and provides them with credits for a qualification,” said Siga.
As a result, it increases their employability, assists in the diversification of their source of income and supports the professionalization of the resilience sector in the Pacific.
One major challenge for RPL is the need to build the trust of practitioners and potential employers for the process.
Another challenge is to develop fair and robust assessment practices for resilience which is a broad, cross-cutting sector, where skills cannot be directly demonstrated during an assessment session.
It is widely believed that education can play a key role in finding global solutions to many problems related to climate change.
Presenting a wide range of valuable lessons learned, which can be adapted and replicated elsewhere, Climate Change and the Role of Education appeals to educators and practitioners alike.
The EU PacTVET Project is funded by the European Union as part of a Euro 32 million Climate Change and Sustainable Energy (ACSE) Programme funded under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF 10) Pacific Regional Envelope.