Sunday, February 23, 2014

Environmental education (EE) should be introduced in our learning institutions.

The coming years will belong to the young and upcoming generation who will form the 4th Generation. This generation requires young people who have knowledge on existing environmental issues whether local, national or even global. At this level, the upcoming generation will be equipped with environmental know-how and be able to tackle different environmental challenges. The direction in which the world is moving today is that each and every individual should be educated to the highest level but for our case as environmentalists what we need to advocate for is that environmental education concepts to be instilled in our upcoming generation. The learning and teaching aids should also be developed in different and simple to use languages hence targeting different genders and all kinds of persons. Environment, as an interactive entity, could be cited as the other side of life in the sense that the very basic support system for life is provided by environment only in one way or the other. Thus, considering the fast deteriorating environmental condition, it becomes necessary to make Environmental Education (EE) as a tool for life and learning right from one’s childhood. The best hope for learning to live sustainably lies in schools that is green in nature. It includes experiencing the natural world, learning how nature sustains life, nurturing healthy communities, recognizing the implications of the ways we feed and provide for ourselves; green living, actively engaging students in learning in and out of the classroom and finally and addressing complex issues and existing environmental opportunities within our learning institutions. Teachers are in a prime position to be able to weave these basics throughout the curriculum at any level. From the time a child is admitted to the time he or she graduates. They are the ones who determine the success of this Environmental knowledge. Whether they start with an environmental issue or with fundamental ecological principles, teachers can nurture the knowledge, skills, and values essential to sustainable living. Somewhere towards the end of last year, I had established an environmental library in one of the schools. This library being the only one in the region, has given the students the opportunity to borrow books and then bring them back. Imagine a child borrowing as story books with horror or magic getting developed in the brain; it might give the child sleepless nights and even developing bad dreams in the middle. But if the same child borrowed a Tunza Magazine or the Planet Magazine, he or she gets inspired by how young people from other parts of the world start small environmental initiatives in their communities and also at schools and how they get successful at a very young age. With most of the school administrations being highlighted on global environmental issues whether through an annual general meeting or through training of eco-club teachers, they are willing to support all environmental activities in learning institutions as curriculum activities. On completion of schooling period, the students will be in a good position to address these global issues through information sharing and advocacy and be able to replicate same knowledge in other places even in their high school level or even when they join varsities.

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