Currently the Netherlands counts 45 UNESCO schools. UNESCO schools are part of UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet). The schools range from primary education to Universities and pay attention to four UNESCO themes. These themes are used worldwide:
- Peace and human rights
- Intercultural learning
- World citizenship
On October 5th, Dutch UNESCO schools gathered together in The Hague to connect and get inspired. Teachers, student groups, and potential UNESCO schools had the opportunity to talk to each other and exchange information to develop ideas for their own school curricula. This day we – the secretariat of the Netherlands IHP-HWRP committee – were able to give a workshop completely related to water. The workshop highlighted three great water initiatives:
- Hugo Groeneveld from Kring Vrienden, ‘S-Hertogenbosch, gave a presentation about their work in Den Bosch and about their interest for the Global Network of Water Museums. The Global Network of Water Museums is an initiative from the water museum in Venice, who with the support of IHP Italy aim to create a network among Water Museums around the globe. Kring Vrienden of ‘S-Hertogenbosch are designing a water museum and plan to contribute to the Global Network of Water Museums. The UNESCO schools have been invited to ‘S-Hertogenbosch for an interesting excursion on our Dutch water-related history!
- Paul van Essen went into discussion with the teachers about how we can value water and how valuing water could be introduced in the school curricula. This in order to see how youth perceives the value of water. Valuing water is an initiative from the High Level Panel on Water who mainly focus on the implementation of sustainable development goal 6, to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
- Lyvia represented TAHMO (The Trans-African Hydro Meteorological Observatory) who aim to develop a vast network of weather stations across Africa. Current and historic weather data is important for agricultural and climate monitoring. TAHMO created two educational programs – School2School and University2University – which are initiatives that involve schools in actual research and are meant to increase international school partnerships. UNESCO schools could join one of the 2 initiatives and get a partner school in Africa or even go on exchange.
We hope we have inspired schools to include water related topics into their curricula in a creative manner!