Code For Green – Poland
Several schools in Poland lack basic frameworks and structures to develop ICT competences of the students (Information and Communication Technology). Moreover, a practical approach to environmental education had not been tested yet. Children needed to be involved in green practices and learn more about sustainable and climate friendly technologies in a practical way.
The project was science-based and targeted those in primary and secondary school or in professional education/in-job training.
The beneficiaries of this project were children aged 13-17.
Children were involved since the early stages, from the initial data collection on pollution and environmental degradation to the project inception
The project was conceptualised with a gender-lens as well: one of the main objectives was to get girls engaged in green technology and involving them in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). The project was meant to include a min. 40% girls.
In its implementation phase, the pilot project was developed in three streams:
- Stream 1–targeted children in primary schools by offering courses in programming, coding and other educational activities such as lab experiments and practical workshops. The training combined the development of programming skills with climate protection and sustainability issues
- Stream 2–targeted teenagers (secondary school students) and created opportunities for them to access job training focused on the development of innovative green technologies, such as mobile apps and games addressing local environmental issues;
- Stream 3–teachers and educators were involved. 16 teachers received training on ICT and soft skills such as initiative taking, creativity, empathy or teamwork complementary for future work.
Since Polish schools lack basic infrastructure to develop ICT competences, this project model was implemented in several schools in three locations (Poznan, Wrzesnia and Polkowice), offering significant support to students to learn important skills and to increase their chances of getting better jobs. Regarding teachers, the project enhanced their environmental awareness and contributed to processes of professional development, and self-education.
- The development of a Child Protection Policy is integral part of all tdh-supported projects. Here it has been developed in consultation and with the support of tdh and is attached to the cooperation agreements with each school.
Results / M&E
At the end of the pilot project, 202 students received training on ICT competences as well as green technology. 45 students coming from a particularly vulnerable background also took part in the project. These students often had families with problems such as alcoholism, unemployment and poverty; some of the children also had learning difficulties and low self-esteem. 18 teachers received training on soft skills and participated in nature webinars.
A gender-balance is standard in all projects – here it ensured that out of the 202 students who took part in the project including technical training, in total 91 (44%) were girls.
Overall, Code for Green introduced an innovative educational method which involved the integration of practical activities in the school curriculum, based on empathy and well-integrated with the needs of the local communities. The project was also successful in its integration of green technologies and training on ICT, eco-friendly skills which were implemented throughout the whole project cycle – from formulation to implementation and results.
Another notable practice identified in this project was constituted by the introduction of training on green technology at all levels of the education system – from primary to secondary school as well as in-job training.
The Code for Green project was evaluated by an external consultant, which is a standard for larger projects. The final evaluation report found that a project like Code for Green can have an impressive impact on local communities particularly because the projects participants were having fun and tackling environmental issues by adopting a bottom-up approach. This created great ownership among the participants and enthusiasm trickling down into the community. This aspect also highlights the importance of generating evidence about a project through external assessments and that all good practices should carry out child-sensitive M&E.