“A Message from Egyptian Children to the World”
Displaying children’s views and solutions to climate change through Art
CAIRO, 16 October 2022- Today, the Ministry of Education and Technical Education (MoETE), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched the ‘Climate Change Art Exhibition for School Students’. The exhibition displayed 200 climate change related art pieces drawn by students who participated in the ‘National Art Competition on Climate Change’ in public schools nation-wide.
The event was attended by Dr. Reda Hegazy, Minister of Education and Technical Education, Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, Dr. Nevine El Kelany, Minister of Culture, Mr. Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt and a number of young artists from different governorates who participated in the ‘National Art Competition on Climate Change’ in public schools.
The ‘Climate Change Art Exhibition for School Students’ is an opportunity for children to voice their views and concerns about climate and environmental issues. This exhibition is part of the strategic collaboration between MoETE and UNICEF that has raised the awareness of 25 million children to act for preservation of their environment. This was achieved through providing trainings on climate change to 300,000 teachers in public schools.
Dr. Reda Hegazy, Minister of Education and Technical Education expressed his happiness to inaugurate the art exhibition that includes the winning pieces of the national competition that was held among school students to express their views about climate change by drawing, and it is an Egyptian message from the children of Egypt to the world stressing the need to preserve the environment and confront Negative effects of climate change.
The Minister valued UNICEF's role in supporting the efforts to increase students' awareness about climate change; he pointed out that a training and awareness program was implemented last August on the concepts of climate change issues (ToT) for 150 trainers, through two training packages, one for teachers and the other for managers, under the title; ‘Supporting the skills of teachers and managers in developing student awareness about climate change’.
Within the strategic collaboration between MoETE and UNICEF, climate change education is integrated as part of the education approach ‘Education 2.0’, linking climate change awareness with artistic expressions among students.
Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, expressed her happiness to see students’ artwork and artistic creativity that depicts what we are going through in today’s life and what we wish for in the future, noting that the students were able to explain specialized technical topics and matters such as energy and water topics, Agriculture, animals, birds, and plants. The Minister of Environment explained that today’s activities are the result of a 3-year effort with the Ministry of Education and Technical Education, whereby the development of educational curricula began, before COP27 hosting by Egypt, where issues such as climate change and biodiversity were taught to children investing in their futures.
From her side, Dr. Nevine Al-Kilani, Minister of Culture said “the distinguished efforts that the Ministry of Education and Technical Education is doing in raising and teaching Egyptian children, and the fruitful and constructive cooperation with the Ministry of Culture in all fields, is very important. Today, I see this exhibition that was created by the children of Egypt on climate change, which comes as part of Egypt's preparations to host the Climate Summit. The Dean of Arabic Literature, Dr. Taha Hussein, pointed out in his book (The Future of Culture in Egypt) the importance of education in building awareness and raising generations and its role in setting the foundations of culture. Therefore, the cooperation between the Ministries of Culture and Education took place, so that we have a talented generation that can work, think and innovate in the new republic, under the leadership of His Excellency President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.” Dr. Al-Kilani also thanked the Minister of Education and Technical Education, the Minister of Environment and the creative artists for their artwork.
“This is an inspiring initiative, where students are learning and expressing their views about climate change through creativity that moves them to action. We believe that children can create out-of-the-box climate change solutions relevant to their communities.” said Mr. Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt.
“UNICEF is committed to continue working with MoETE to support and accelerate inclusive, child and youth-centred climate education. I would like to congratulate H.E. Dr. Reda Hegazy, Minister of Education and Technical Education, our development partners and all those who have contributed to such unique art pieces that I was very delighted to see. We are particularly pleased to have some of the artists with us here tonight.” Mr. Hopkins added.
More than 1,000 school students participated in the ‘National Art Competition on Climate Change’ throughout the 27 Egyptian governorates, and more than 1,700 art pieces were submitted.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/egypt/