The efforts to increase Environmental Education and hence awareness of possible ways for conserving and greening our environment is still minimal among primary schools and secondary schools as compared to Universities.
Provision of Environmental Education to primary and secondary level has not yet been achieved in many developing countries particularly, Tanzania because of little number of experts, very little attention being given by the government, availability of teaching resources, poor written syllabus that do not incorporate environmental education and poor methodologies.
Although there is very little understanding of our Environment to both adults and youths; more efforts should be directed to youths in primary and secondary schools so that they can be aware of importance of the environment and why they should continue conserving and greening it while they still at their early ages.
This will help them to redirect their career interest and later become experts in this discipline of Environment and Natural resources in particular.Although our Environment is at full of challenges, still individuals of all ages can involve in conserving and continuing greening it.
In commemorating the 2011 World Environmental Day, on 5th June, 2011 as a young environmentalist Trainee at EMEDO, I organized an outreach activity students at Kabila Secondary school (in Kabila Village, Magu District) to raise environmental awareness hence to motivate them to participate in the conservation of the environment be it at school, at their homes and community at large.
More importantly to mobilize them to participate in planting tree seedlings around their school compound to increase forest cover within this International Year of Forests (IYF2011) and form a school environmental club that will be responsible in organizing trainings on environmental issues and designing other outreach programs/activities aimed at conserving the school environment.
On the other hand, the club formed will be responsible in initiating outreach activities in other secondary and primary schools in Kabila Village and the community at large aimed at protecting and conserving the environment.
The main reasons for mobilizing and sensitizing students was to make them aware on the outreach activity, Increasing environmental awareness among students and teachers, sharing good practices on environmental conservation activities and mobilizing them to participate in tree planting activities.
The activity started by visiting the school authority to introduce the objective of the outreach activity one week before the event. The process was one day in which 280 students from form one to form four were sensitized and giving them a chance to ask question pertaining to environmental issues. After the training session, more than 70 students volunteered to participate in planting trees to commemorate the 2011 World Environmental Day, hence greening their school. 35 students among them also volunteered to form a school environmental club. After tree planting session, a reflection session was done to obtain feedback from the students where some of them had the following to say;
Salma Sudi, A form four student said that,” from trees we obtain fresh air, timber thus the community should protect and conserve the environment by avoiding deforestation and involvement in planting more trees around their houses or in their farms”.
Lucas Nshashi Msangwa, a form one student said that, “I am happy to attend the training that was provided by Deodatus Kiriba, the facilitator from EMEDO. His training has made me aware that I should participate in conserving the environment at school or home as our lives entirely depend on the environment.”
Hellena N. Tryphone, a form two student said that,” Previously, I had never received any environmental education thus through attending this training and hence participating in planting trees when we commemorate the World Environmental Day, 2011 I will try my level best to educate the community I stay with so that fellow villagers participate in conserving the environment through planting flowers or trees. I also promise to protect the tree planted until they grow larger”.
Nichoraus Nshashi, a form one student concluded by saying,” tree are very important to human life as they provide shadow and firewood for cooking, attract rainfall and are a source of fresh air and carbon dioxide sinks. I therefore thank the facilitator, Mr. Deodatus Kiriba for sharing his experience and involving us in tree planting as this will give us the practical aspect on conserving our environment. I call upon the community by a quote saying ’KATA MTI PANDA MITI’. Let us all participate in protecting and conserving our environment.
Therefore, with this initiative, EMEDO should scale up the outreach activity to other secondary schools and initiate these efforts to some of primary schools to raise environmental education to children and members of the environmental club need more training on how to raise seeds to enable them establish school nurseries to continue greening their schools.
To view the activity photos at Kabila Secondary school open the link below:
Deodatus Kiriba – YET 2011