The impact of training programmes to raise awareness of health and environmental education for Syrian teachers in the North of Syria

The Syrian war has affected every level of Syrian life, particularly education. Thousands of teachers have lost their jobs and the ability to practice their teaching. As a result, most Syrian teachers are no longer current with topics relevant to environmental education (EE) and health education (HE), and some may even have forgotten many of the fundamental concepts. Moreover, many environmental issues have emerged after the crisis in Syria, such as dealing with weapons waste and chemical weapons as well as aspects related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our study aims firstly, to design a training program, using the CoDesignS framework to raise awareness of EE and HE within the framework of UNESCO’s Education for sustainable development among Syrian refugee teachers. Secondly, that training program will be evaluated to determine whether it improves knowledge and attitudes and whether they feel able to implement change in their teaching practice. A single, random experimental group of 50 Syrian refugee teachers including both genders, will be selected, and the training program will be tailored to their needs and awareness of EE and HE. Training materials will include a set of topics related to EE and HE with a total of 8 hours training per week (14 weeks and in total 112 hours), and a mixed methods study following a sequential explanatory approach (Creswell, 2014). This design involves data being collected in two consecutive phases, first collecting quantitative data and then qualitative data to further inform the study. The quantitative phase will entail conducting pre-and post-knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) tests to determine the level of impact of the training. The data will be analysed statistically using SPSS and will include chi-square test with a p-value of 5% indicating statistical significance between pre- and post-testing. The second phase will involve the qualitative interviews to explore their perception of the training and challenges or barriers to implementation in practice. The recorded interviews will be transcribed verbatim in Arabic and thematically analysed. Expected outcomes of the study include the evolution of the EE and HE concepts among the participants by providing the teachers with current knowledge designed to tackle the education crisis in Syria. We hope to improve the outcomes of the educational process of the students ultimately. In addition, this study will provide useful suggestions to decision makers and the program can be a nucleus for a larger project which would include all Syrian teachers in the future.    

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