Nov 16, 2016, 10:15 AM
The environment education and communication unit of the National Environment Agency (NEA), in collaboration with Adaptation to Climate and Coastal Change (ACCCA), recently organised a drama competition for twelve of its collaborating schools in the greater
The ACCCA is an NEA-UNDP supported project aimed at finding ways for adopting actions to combat the effects of climate change on the West African coastline.
The aim of the drama competition was also to avail young pupils the opportunity to start taking ownership of the environment.
It further aims at helping to disseminate the processes of basic information that will trigger positive attitudinal change towards the degradation of the environment, as well as ensuring that school-going boys and girls contribute their quota towards sustainable conservation protection and preservation of the environment.
Speaking at the ceremony, the director of inter-sectoral network service at the NEA, Madam Ndey Sireng Bakurin, says boys and girl are the future generation of the nation. “We have to protect the environment we live in,” she added.
She said environmental education continues to emerge as a much more needed dimension for all types and levels of education of imparting to in-school and out-of-school target groups and the general public at large the sensitivity, awareness, knowledge, skills, attitude, and commitment for action and ethical responsibilities, for the sound use and management of resources and for the protection and improvement of the environment for the present and future generations.
She further noted that eventually there must be a deep awareness on the interconnectivity between society and environment, highlighting environmental issues such as bushfire, deforestation and climate change as people’s issues.
“Sustainability of such environmental education activities is vital because you educate a child you educate a nation and children are a good source of transferring information as leaders of tomorrow,” Mrs Bakurin said.
According to her, competition also challenges pupils to come up with creative, out-of-the-box solutions. It seeks to motivate pupils to experiment with ideas to develop new ways to protect the environment.
“This ties in well with what we are working towards in education, as we want to nurture young Gambians to look beyond their textbooks and use their innovative ideas and abundant energies to create a better society,” she said.
She added that competitions like drama would provide them with the opportunity to identify real life problems, work in teams, undertake research and come up with practical solutions.
She also thanked the stakeholders and partners for their support towards the event.
At the end of the competition, Bakau Lower Basic took first position and went home with a cash prize of D3,000.
Officials said that the important of sensitisation and awareness creation cannot be over-emphasised as “it avails our Gambian future leaders [knowledge] of the realities of the impact and phenomenon of climate change and its related environmental human induced problems”.