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Environmental education is paramount to socio-economic development

Aug 12, 2016, 10:50 AM | Article By: Sheikh Alkinky Sanyang, NEA

The executive director of the National Environment Agency (NEA) has said that environmental education and sensitisation is one of the basic tools needed in molding school children to take responsibility of the destiny of the environment.

Ndey Siren Bakurin said transfer of knowledge into school children in particular and the public at large on sound environmental management and sustainable development guarantees a healthy environment for everyone.

She recently made these remarks during NEA’s presentation of assorted cleansing materials to more than 15 schools through its schools environment outreach programme.

She disclosed that creating linkages built on common understanding, through diverse communication methods including focus group discussions and field visits to schools and communities, can help one to take ownership of the environment and further spread the message on how to protect, improve and preserve it.

The schools that benefitted from NEA’s gesture were Talinding, Essau, Wesley, Bakau Newtown, Bakoteh-Proper, Sukuta, Brufut, Latrikunda Yeringanya, Old Jeshwang, Brikama, Sotokoi, Berefet, St George’s lower basic schools and Armitage Senior Secondary School.

At the presentation ceremonies held at the respective school grounds, Mrs Bakurin disclosed that environmental protection needs holistic efforts from all walks of life.

She also pointed out the importance of the Operations Clean the Nation (OCN), anti-littering regulation and its social benefits are to create a positive image, boost tourism potentials, and reduce the incidence of vector-borne diseases such as malaria in The Gambia.

Madam Bakurin said NEA’s schools environment outreach programme aims to inculcate environmental education knowledge and skills into the young school going children as they, in turn, can serve as agents of change.

Furthermore, she underlined the prominent role school children and mothers club in schools play in disseminating information in the communities, thus catalysing environmental action and behavioural change.

The presentations to schools also witnessed a conducted tour of the school premises including the school gardens and orchards. 

Madam Bakurin also met some members of the various schools’ mothers club who she said are always helpful in school operations.

At the presentation ground at Essau Lower Basic School in North Bank Region, NEA executive director thanked the school headmaster, staff and the school environment coordinator for what she described as dedicative and willingness to the development of the school’s environment agenda.

She revealed that the cleansing materials can, by extension, serve as teaching aids.

In receiving the assorted cleansing materials on behalf of the school, Headmaster Lamin Njai thanked the NEA for showing its magnanimity to his school and the community of Essau.

At Old Jeshwang Lower Basic, the NEA boss and entourage were received by Headmistress Sainbou Sanneh, the school’s environment coordinator Modou Lamin Badjie, school cluster monitor from MoBSE and members of staff.

In handing over the items, Madam Bakurin called for the sustainable utilisation of natural resources and taking ownership of the environment.

Old Jeshwang Lower Basic School Headmistress Sanneh paid tribute and appreciation to the NEA, saying the availability of such cleansing materials would boost their morals and efforts in keeping the school environment clean and greener. 

Headmaster Essa Jammeh and the school’s environment coordinator Ismaila Camara of Sotokoi Lower Basic School in the West Coast Region received NEA executive director accompanied by senior programme officer Aji Binta Kinteh and the NEA environmental education and communication team.

Mr Jammeh expressed profound appreciation to the agency and promised to transform and uplift the face of the school to an environmental friendly one.

At Banjul, in Wesley Lower Basic school, the NEA team was received by the headmistress, Armisdicia Jones, and the school’s environment coordinator, Abdoulie Joof.

At Sukuta Lower Basic, the NEA team was welcomed by the Headmaster Kebba Conteh, school environment coordinator Lamin Daffeh and cross-section of members of staff.

At Brufut Lower Basic School in the WCR, the deputy headmaster Malamin Badjie and the school environment coordinator George Trawally cheered the NEA team into the school.

At all these presentations, the NEA boss buttressed her agency’s stance to defend the environment and called on the schools to take ownership of the environment as the only home for mankind.