Addressing selected sustainable development goals through education for sustainable development in Itezhi-Tezhi district of Central,Zambia

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Ndila, Michael
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The University of Zambia
Among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit held on 25th September 2015 are the following goals; no poverty, zero hunger, achieve quality and inclusive education, addressing climate change, and so on. As a matter of global urgency, the SDGs are stressed in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) which is inextricably linked to Environmental Education (EE). This study located within UNESCO’s (2014) Global Action Program (GAP) section 12 under the 5th priority action area which stresses the need to accelerate the search for Sustainable Development solution at local level using educational approaches. The study strove to find sustainable solutions to salient issues such as hunger and poverty using ESD in the context of Itezhi-tezhi Community. The aim of the study was to examine how ESD could be used as a channel to achieve selected SDGs in Itezhi-tezhi District of Central Zambia. The study explored resident’s awareness about SDGs, interpretation and practices that related to selected SDGs, as well as fortified how ESD elements can be blended with local knowledge practices to enhance selected SDGs. The study was informed by Socio-Cultural Constructivist Theory (SCCT) as ideologies, lived experiences and activities sought could best be understood in the cultural context. The study was comprehended through constructivism in which, single case design sited under qualitative umbrella was used for an in-depth understanding of lived experiences of the respondents. The respondents in the study were; Chief Kangu’s representative, 3 headmen, 40 household heads (Quota and purposively sampled), and 3 ministerial experts (purposively sampled). Primary data was collected using semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and participant observation. The results show that 77% of residents were not aware about SDGs. It also established that the concept of hunger meant inadequacy in food stuffs, money and domestic animals. Ending hunger by 2030 was generally perceived as up scaling food production via hard work and government support in supplying farming implements and inputs. The study also established that local residents engaged in field crop production to address the challenge of hunger. Education for Sustainable Development was perceived to be instrumental in improving methods of manipulating locally existing resources. The concept poverty was perceived as inadequacy in socially valued material things such as cattle, goats, pigs, and chickens. Ending poverty by 2030 meant enhancing locally existing socio-economic enterprises through government intervention. In order to address the issue of poverty, residents engaged in field crop production where cash crops (maize inclusive) were grown among other enterprises. Local respondents perceived ESD to be instrumental in addressing the challenge of poverty by improving productivity and sustaining local resource utilization via blending sustainable development principles and ideologies with locally existing knowledge practices. Thus, the study proposed a model that stipulated how ESD can be used to achieve SDGs in the local context. The study recommends that the Zambian government, civil societies, and United Nations agencies charged with the responsibility of ensuring that SDGs are known and implemented in all States and communities may harness the vigor of ESD as an approach to address these ambitious global goals
Sustainable development--Study and teaching--Zambia