ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR SCHOOLS IN WATAMU
The leadership of tomorrow is a symbol of victory over the challenges of tomorrow, and to achieve that, we need to sufficiently equip our children for the future to come. Apparently, it would require everyone’s part in committing themselves to provide and facilitate the knowledge about our environment. That is what the Environmental Education Programme at A Rocha Kenya is doing as a weekly activity. To work towards raising awareness on the environment in Watamu including the Marine Protected Area, A Rocha Kenya is now facilitating environmental education to more than 10 primary schools.
The week kicks off with a simple lesson plan preparation for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and the volunteers and interns at A Rocha Kenya discuss and plan to visit each school and facilitate the EE lessons. Previously, we had wonderful and lively lessons on the Intertidal Zone, whereby the Wildlife Club members from each school had an amazing experience at the beach in Watamu Marine National Park. The idea of taking the pupils for a walk on the beach or simply having the lessons outside the class setting and playing games, has been quite remarkable. There is the feeling of nature and actual experience with the information communicated to them.
It is arguably true that majority of the children in this generation are disconnected with nature, and A Rocha Kenya has been keen to realize the need to intervene. The significance of imparting this young generation with environmental education and more so, outdoor learning, comes with lots of benefits which cuts across pupils’ well-being like boosting performance in school and raising test scores, as well as encouraging them to adopt conservation skills as a career path on environmental conservation. Nevertheless, the communities are proud of the insight shared to the children and come in handy as a participatory activity to assist everybody in maintaining a healthy environment.
“Children are born with a sense of wonder and an affinity for Nature. Properly cultivated, these values can mature into ecological literacy, and eventually into sustainable patterns of living.”
–Zenobia Barlow, “Confluence of Streams”