Science in the Savannah: Hands-On Ecology Lessons Amidst Climate Challenges

In recent times, the educational landscape in Kenya, like many parts of the world, has faced unprecedented challenges due to the impacts of climate change, notably the severe floods that have led to the postponement of school re-openings. This situation underscores the importance of adapting our educational approaches to ensure continuity and relevance in times of environmental crisis. Homeschooling, often seen as a secondary option, is now emerging as a crucial educational model, particularly in areas heavily affected by climate events.

The floods have not only affected the physical infrastructure of schools but also highlighted the urgent need for an educational shift that incorporates climate awareness and preparedness. As Fernando Reimers of Harvard’s Global Education Innovation Initiative suggests, there’s an educational imperative to help students understand and respond to climate challenges with hope and agency. This perspective underscores the necessity of integrating practical, localized climate education into the homeschooling curriculum to foster a generation that is climate-aware and equipped to handle the environmental challenges of the future​ (Harvard Graduate School of Education)​.

Moreover, the theme of “Science in the Savannah: Hands-On Ecology Lessons” presents a unique opportunity to integrate real-world environmental challenges into the curriculum. Homeschooling can incorporate practical, locally relevant ecology studies, allowing students to engage directly with their environments. This approach not only enriches the educational experience but also fosters a deeper understanding and awareness of ecological and climate issues among young learners.

As we consider the possibility that such extreme weather events might become our new reality due to climate change, the flexibility of homeschooling becomes even more valuable. It allows for an adaptive learning environment where educational activities can be quickly adjusted to accommodate the unpredictability of such events. This adaptability is crucial not just for continuity in education but also for integrating learning with urgent community and environmental needs.

Homeschooling empowers parents and communities to tailor educational content to reflect local realities, challenges, and opportunities. In the context of Kenya, where the savannah provides a rich ecological landscape, hands-on learning can be directly linked to the surrounding environment. Lessons can cover topics such as water conservation, soil health, biodiversity, and sustainable practices that are immediately applicable to students’ lives and their communities.

The recent floods also serve as a practical backdrop for lessons in environmental science and ecology. By understanding the causes and effects of such events, students can better appreciate the complexities of climate change and its impacts. This knowledge is vital for raising future generations who are not only aware of environmental issues but are also equipped with the knowledge and skills to tackle them.

Kenya’s new educational reforms, such as the Curriculum-Based Competency system, emphasize practical, environment-related activities. These reforms aim to embed problem-solving skills in students, making them adept at understanding and addressing local environmental challenges, like those posed by climate change​ (One Earth)​.

However, the disruptions caused by climate events such as floods are a stark reminder of the fragility of traditional schooling systems. The frequent interruptions to education, as seen globally, underscore the necessity for homeschooling and alternative education methods that can adapt to and incorporate real-time climate events into learning​ (Homepage | Concern Worldwide)​.

As we celebrate Labor Day, let us also acknowledge and appreciate the resilience and adaptability of our educators and students who are navigating these challenging times. 

Happy Labor Day!

© 2024 The Cole Kids Academy Ltd. All Rights Reserved.



Reimers, Fernando. “A Global View of Education and Climate Change.” Harvard Graduate School of Education. Harvard University, March 1, 2024.

“Can Kenya’s New Education System Address Climate Change?” One Earth. June 2019.

“Climate Change is One of the Biggest Threats to Education — and Growing.” Concern Worldwide.