Read this article to learn to learn about the Environmental Education (EE):- 1. Objectives of Environmental Education 2. Principles of Environmental Education 3. Environmental Educational Programmes 4. Environmental Education among Students.
Objectives of Environmental Education:
The education for environmental awareness is essential for the younger and older generations.
Education in India is mainly a State subject and the responsibility is that of the Ministries of Education at the Centre and States.
There is a Chinese proverb which says if you plan for one year, plant rice, if you plan for 10 years, plant trees and if you plan for 100 years, educate people.
Environmental education helps students and general public towards:
a. Awareness i.e., acquire sensitivity to the total environment and its allied problems.
b. Skill i.e., acquire skills for identifying environmental problems.
c. Knowledge. To know conservation of natural resources.
d. Evaluation ability. To evaluate environs measures and education programmes in terms of social, economic, ecological and aesthetic factors.
e. Attitude and participation.
Principles of Environmental Education:
1. To consider environment in its totality (natural, artificial, technological, ecological, moral, aesthetic).
2. To consider a continuous life process.
3. To be interdisciplinary in approach.
4. To focus on current, potential environmental situations.
5. To emphasize active participation in prevention and control of pollution.
6. To examine root cause of environmental degradation.
7. To provide an opportunity for making decisions and accepting their consequences.
Environmental Educational Programmes:
It involves a three-fold classification of environmental education based on different disciplines:
1. Environmental Studies:
It is concerned with environmental disturbances and minimisation of their impacts through changes in social sciences.
2. Environmental Science:
It deals with the study of the processes in water, air, soil and organisms which lead to environmental damage.
3. Environmental Engineering:
It involves the study of technical processes used to minimise pollution.
Environmental Education among Students:
The environment scenario of India is very wide indeed. At the first level, special attention must be paid to children. They are to be made aware of health, nutrition, sanitation, hygiene, development, water and food contamination, fodder and fuel wood etc. NGO’s have to play a significant role in environmental education and awareness.
A. Formal Environmental Education:
The spectrum of EE has four major interrelated components, i.e., Awareness, real life situation, conservation and sustainable development.
1. Primary School Stage:
The attempt is made to sensitize the child about environs. Emphasis should be mostly (75%) on building up awareness, followed by real life situation (20%) and conservation (5%). Teaching strategy includes audio-visual and field visits.
2. Lower Secondary Stage:
At this level objective must be real life experience, awareness and problem identification. The contents are supplemented with general science. Teaching, practicals and field visits are to be done.
3. Higher Secondary School Stage:
The emphasis must be on conservation, assimilation of knowledge, problem identification and action skills. Contents may be science-based and action oriented work.
4. College Stage:
Maximum emphasis should be on knowledge regarding sustainable development and conservation. The content must be college based on Science and Technology. Teaching practical’s and action-oriented field work is to be done. In the school education, NCERT has been playing vital role in designing syllabi, text books, guide books, charts and kits etc.
5. University Education:
EE at this level is being looked after the UGC. The university education has three major components— Teaching, Research and Extension. At post graduate level, four major areas are recognised environmental engineering, conservation and management, environmental health, social ecology.
B. Non-Formal Environmental Education:
This education is designed for any age group, participating in cultural, social, economic development of the country. They form clubs and arrange exhibition, public lectures, meetings, environmental campaigns. Following are the main constituents of this education.
1. Adult Education:
Adults may influence the society to protect the precious environs by generating posters, slides, audio-visual and information pictures.
2. Rural Youth and Non-student Youth:
They may act as volunteers.
3. Tribals and Forest Dwellers:
They are an important media to protect the forest wealth.
4. Children Activities:
The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) conducts spot painting, modelling and poster design about environment for children.
5. Eco-development Camps:
Currently a set of a guide lines has been prepared by D.O. En to create awareness in youth and to acquaint them with the practice of sustainable development.
6. Non-government Organisations:
There are more than 200 NGOs engaged in environmental protection.
7. Public Representatives:
India has environmental forums for MPs and MLAs to discuss environmental problems facing the country. They stimulate public interest for saving the environs.
8. Training Executives:
Regular courses should be arranged for environ activities among administrators.
9. Research and Development Programmes:
Such R and D efforts are supported by D.O. Environment in Biosphere and Man.
10. Foundation Courses:
The courses for the probationers selected for the IAS, IFS, IPS and cadets of three wings of Armed Forces need to be supplemented with foundation courses on environment relevant to their area of specialisation.
11. Development of Educational Material and Teaching Aids:
Materials for media (T.V, radio, films, news -papers etc.), audio, mobile exhibitions, audio-visual materials must be operated by competent manpower. One such centre in India is Centre for Environmental Education, Ahmedabad.
12. Development of Trained Manpower:
Department of Environment (DOE) must organise training programmes for the professors, technical personnel, lecturers and legal experts.
13. National Environment Awareness Campaign or National Environment Month:
Commencing from 1986, DOEn conducts NEAC and NEM. From November 19th to December 18th every year is observed as NEM.
14. World Environmental Day:
All Govts. in the states, UTs, universities, schools, colleges, academic institutions and voluntary organisations organise suitable activities on World Environmental Day, i.e., 5th June of each year. DOE supports the function financially.
C. Environmental Information:
DOE had set up a programme, i.e., Environmental Information System (ENVIS) in 1982. It is a decentralised system using distributed network of data bases for collection of environmental information. ENVIS network with DOE consists of 10 ENVIS centres on diverse areas of environment. It is established in specialised and reputed institutions in the country.
Importance of Environmental Education:
By environmental education we can learn:
i. How to handle environmental issues.
ii. How to lead a better life with less pollution.
iii. How to prevent the ecological crisis.
iv. How to ensure socio-economic development and make this earth a better place to live in for the present and future generations.