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For the remainder of the morning Stella Williams moderated the debate centered on the panel's remarks. Interrupted by a sandwich lunch and the projection of the video-interview with Awa SEYE, the leader of the Senegalese women in artisanal fisheries, all of the afternoon was spent discussing what could be practical implications for several on-going and planned projects. The video actually represented another type of input to the reflections, namely how to find a new equilibrium between tradition and modernity as applied to school education and, for that matter, on life-long learning.


Two of the more interesting aspects of the follow-up to the pilots under FAO's EAF Nansen Project were first that the kids discovered through the use of fish rulers, a quantitative notion not so dominant in the traditional oral culture, that they could enter into a useful dialogue with adults. Infact, their discovery that fishing babyfish was quite common and an indication of unsustainable practices, led to many debates not only in school, but also in the community.

The second was a convergent interest of fish mongers in several markets to get fish rulers and to familiarise with their use in response to fearing their business had no future if overfishing continued unabated.

Bringing teaching aids and practical exercises in real life situations to the schools the sense of relevance of the teaching was sharply increased. This was particularly the case as the exercises touched on a very real sustainability issue.

Margareth Hammer commented on the weakening links between the generations and how this leads to loss of knowledge, not only traditional knowledge. From her own decades-long work in many countries, she argued in favour of renewed links between people of all age groups to ensure what she termed "transgenerational knowledge", or the transmission of knowledge within the family and community between the elders and the youth. This could be among the feasible responses to problems identified by Awa Seye in the video-interview and others during the exchange.

Other valuable comments developed the need to replace linear thinking by sustainability paradigms and why teacher training needed to be specific to different age groups, but also that teachers themselves needed updates to take onboard new methods and insights that could help them remain good stewards for the young generations throughout their often long professional careers. Peer-to-peer learning and using modern information technologies as an addition to well-established methods and teaching aids could make teaching more dynamic and effective.

Some very useful suggestions from the group in relation to on-going work in Senegal, Gambia, Nigeria and Belgium will be put into practice soon.

The workshop closed with a check-out that highlighted the hope and expectation of the participants for translating the results of the day operationally and strengthen cooperation. Reason enough to thank all those generously contributing information, documentation, life-experience and questions, whether they could be in the room or had helped in the preparations.