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‘Environmental education paramount to socio-economic development’

Jul 11, 2016, 10:00 AM | Article By: Sheikh Alkinky Sanyang

The Executive Director of the National Environment Agency (NEA) has said environmental education, sensitization and awareness creation is one of the basic tools needed in moulding schoolchildren, our future generation, to shoulder and take responsibility of the destiny of their environment.

Reiterating that the 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.

Ndey Siren Bakurin recently made these remarks during the agency`s presentation of assorted cleansing materials to over fifteen schools serving in the agency`s schools environment Outreach programme.

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

The collaborating schools that benefitted from NEA`s gesture were Talinding, Essau, Wesley, Bakau-Newtown, Bakoteh-Proper, Sukuta, Brufut, Latri-Kunda Yeringanya, Old Jeshwang, Brikama, Soktokoi, Berefet, St. Georges (URR) Lower Basic Schools and Armitage Senior Secondary School.

At presentation ceremonies held at their respective school grounds, Mrs Bakurin disclosed that environmental protection needs holistic efforts from all walks of life to achieve any national sustainable development agenda.

She pointed out that the importance of the Operation Clean the Nation (OCN), Anti-littering Regulation and its social benefits are to create a positive image of the country, boost tourism potentials of the nation, reduce the incidence of vector-borne diseases especially malaria, and contribute to the country`s attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, (MDGs).

Mrs Bakurin said her agency`s Schools Environment Outreach Programme aims to inculcate environmental education knowledge and skills into the young school-going children, as they in turn could serve as agents of change through peers and or parents, in the community they stay and other areas.

“Environmental protection calls for holistic action from all walks of life in our society,” she emphasised.

Furthermore, she stressed the importance of the prominent role schoolchildren and mother-Clubs in schools play in disseminating information back to home communities, thus catalyzing environmental action and behavioural change.

The presentation was marred by a conducted tour of the school premises including the school gardens, orchards, banana plantations, classrooms, toilets and kitchens.

She also met some members of school mother clubs who are always helpful in school operations.

At the presentation grounds at Essau Lower Basic School in the North Bank Region, she thanked the school headmaster, staff and the school environment coordinator, Awa Bah, for what she described as dedication and willingness to the development of the school`s environment agenda.

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

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

At Old Jeshwang Lower Basic, the NEA boss and entourage were received by the 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, NEA Executive Director reiterated for the sustainable utilization of our natural resources and taking ownership of the environment.

Paying tribute and appreciations to the NEA, Mistress Sanneh noted with confidence that 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 the Executive Director accompanied senior programme officer Aji Binta Kinteh and her Environmental Education and Communication team.

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

In the capital city of Banjul, Wesley Lower Basic school was the next stop and the presentation team were met on arrival by the Headmistress Mrs Armisticia 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 long outstanding 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 stakeholders to take ownership of the environment as the only home for mankind.