Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures: Intersecting dynamics of food, water, livelihoods and education in the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Kgosietsile Velempini University of Botswana
  • Heila Lotz-Sisitka Rhodes University
  • Injairu Kulundu Rhodes University
  • Lwanda Maqwelane Rhodes University
  • Anna James Independent Researcher
  • Gibson Mphepo LEAD Southern and Eastern Africa
  • Phila Dyantyi Human Sciences Research Council
  • Esthery Kunkwenzu University of Malawi


Since 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges to but also highlighted the urgent need for transforming education for sustainable futures. The purpose of this article is to share insights gained from a southern African study on intersecting influences of water, food, livelihoods and education, and what they mean for Education for Sustainable Development going forward. The interest is to learn from this study in ways that can inform transformation of education for sustainable futures in southern Africa going forward. The study involved a number of early career researchers in SADC countries, and was conducted via an online approach during the early days of the pandemic. It followed a qualitative research design, employed document analysis, interviews and questionnaires, and drew on a systems perspective to inform analysis. The findings are as relevant today as they were in the pandemic, and point to the importance of giving attention to intersecting issues that affect education. The study highlights six transformative praxis pathways for transforming education for sustainable futures.

Keywords: COVID-19; education for sustainable development; systems thinking, intersectionality


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2411-5959
print ISSN: 0256-7504