Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Ready for School?

October 2, 2011

The issue of school readiness is highly controversial one in the prosperous global north but it is worth sparing a thought for the day to day realities of a majority of the world’s children. Since the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 29, 1) most of the nations of the world have agreed that all children have a right to education. But the education of children doesn’t begin when they start school, and it is important to recognise that the Right to education should extend to all children regardless of age. Global Handwashing Day 2011 on 15 October provides a good opportunity to show your commitment to the principle.

In 2010, over 200 million people were involved and over 700,000 schools celebrated Global Handwashing Day. This year we can do even better.
Planners Guide

Sustainable Societies: Responsible Citizens

September 24, 2011

In September 2011 OMEP delegates participated in the 64th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference in Bonn entitled Sustainable Societies: Responsible Citizens. OMEP provided an exhibition, distributed copies of Education for Sustainable Development in the Early Years and presented the case for Early Childhood involvement in various workshops. This was a significant UN initiative organised in preparation for the coming Earth Summit Rio+20 in 2012.

The Conference called upon governments in accordance with human rights, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and respective capabilities to adopt 17 Sustainable Development Goals: These included the aim:

By 2030, national governments reorient all national aims and objectives towards achieving sustainable societies and will mainstream sustainable development into all national educational policies and curricula.
Sights and Sounds
Archived Webcast

How do we educate children to wash their hands?

September 9, 2011

Apparently between 1,500,000 and 1,700,000 lives could be saved each year simply through providing better facilities for hand washing and promoting effective hand washing practice. So what are you doing for Global Handwashing Day on 15th October 2011?

According to Kerry Patterson et al (2008) (VitalSmarts) there are six sources of influence that can change people’s behaviour; Motivation; Ability or Skills; Peer pressure; Team Work; Incentives, and the Environment. To be effective in changing behaviour it is best to use all six. What do you think? What works for you?

Wash from the Start: a new OMEP initiative

August 25, 2011

To achieve an education for sustainable development we need to build on children’s current understandings and we also need to help the children recognise the commonalities of human experience rather than the differences between people around the world. In other words we need to build upon what children around the world have in common. A good starting point is for them to share their experiences of learning about sustainable development  and one very effective way of doing that is for your preschool to join Carbon Partners.  

Another valuable approach in the early years is to identify the most basic physiological survival needs that every human being shares. We all need clean air, clean water, food, shelter and sanitation.  Each of these provides strong grounding for education for sustainable development in early childhood and it is for this reason that OMEP is currently working with UNICEF and the Wash in Schools partnership in developing Wash from the Start.

We need to share more examples of practical Wash from the Start activities. The Tippy Taps activity and Wash United examples are a beginning – lets have lots more for Global Handwashing day.

Global Handwashing Day – 15th October 2011

August 17, 2011

The death of more than 1.5 million children under five every year is directly caused by poor hygiene and lack of access to water and sanitation. Global Handwashing Day provides a valuable focus for learning activities for all children. It also provides a crucial focus for drawing public attention to the wider issues and for international fund raising.

OMEP is developing new Education for Sustainable Development resources for preschools that will include materials to support a range of Wash from the Start projects. On the internet you can already find masses of ideas for activities, videos and reports from around the world showing young children and communities working together to solve these problems of hygeine awareness, water supply and sanitation.

Find more information here

Download Global Handwashing day logo here

Taking Children Seriously

December 19, 2010

..How the EU can invest in early Childhood Education for a Sustainable Future

For a copy – download HERE

This is a report Report presented by the European Panel Panel on Sustainable Development in Brussels on the 17th December 2010

Shouldn’t we be aspiring to create a generation of Charlies?

February 9, 2010

Seven year old Charlie Simpson from West London, has shown inspirational support in his fundraising bike ride for Haiti.

After watching on TV the devastating effects of the recent earthquake in Haiti Charlie said , “I want to make some money to buy food, water and tents for everyone in Haiti.”

Charlie decided that to do this he would cycle five miles (8km) around South Park near his home to raise funds for Unicef’s earthquake appeal.  He expected to raise £500 but has raised more than £160,000!

Click on the video to watch the full news story.

Learning about money

January 27, 2010

One of the challenges for developing a genuine education for sustainable development in early childhood is to develop a sustainable economics curriculum that is meaningful for young children. ‘Thrift’ was once considered a significant virtue to be encouraged in early childhood education but in recent years it has been neglected.  A new context for developing young children’s economic understanding for sustainable development in England may be provided by a new government initiative: See:

Children to be taught perils of debt

Kids to get lessons about money

Teaching your child about money

Note: the BBC Newsround Programme also provides a number of useful online resources on the environment:

Amazon deforestation

Wind power in the UK

Chewing gum tax: Polluter pays

World Day for Water

Can small actions change the World?

Asian Tsunami

Should we cull animals?

Sea pollution

Exploiting Antarctica

The real cost of coffee

Endangered species

Article from the Philippine Star

January 27, 2010

Sometimes when I read articles written in very different cultural contexts to my own I feel quite humbled – what do you make of the following article from the Philippine Star: link

OMEP 2010

January 26, 2010

This years World Congress will be held in Gothenburg and has a theme of ‘Children- citizens in a challanged world’.

Education for sustainable development will be a key theme throughout the three days.

For more information visit-


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 52 other followers