Contributed by Lourdes M. Octavio – Master Teacher 1, Pablo Roman National High School
There is only one planet Earth, and it is our home. For several years now, we have witnessed the negative effects of climate change which eventually would lead to an increase in temperature between 3 and 6 ºC by 2050, affecting thousands and even billions of lives due to water shortages, reduced agricultural yields, increase in malnutrition that would cause deaths, and extinction of some animal species.
Faced with this grim future, we have to think of ways to stop or even reverse it if possible, and the key is environmental awareness. Education plays an important role in creating environmental awareness in the society. Environmental education is defined as the process directed at creating awareness and understanding about environmental issues that leads to responsible individual or group actions. More than just presenting the facts, it encourages the students to be vigilant and motivated in protecting the planet. Instead of merely listening, the students get to participate in data gathering and interpretation, experimenting, and other techniques involved in the process.
Here are some of the benefits of environmental education:
· It enables a person to understand the phenomenon of globalization and its impact on environment, economy, and the social equality.
· It makes the person aware about the impacts of his activities on environment.
· It orients a person on various processes of development and their impacts on the environment.
As teachers, we have the responsibility to teach our students to care for the world. They have to be aware that nature gives us so many things for free so we must give back something in return. Taking good care of our planet is a legacy that we can leave to our students and to the future generations.
As President Theodore Roosevelt put it, “But there must be the look ahead, there must be a realization of the fact that to waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.”
Burns Tracy and Roxanne Kovacs. Think Green: Education and Environmental Awareness.http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.com
What is Environmental Education? www.kacee.org