Environmental education in AUH schools' curricula
Schools should teach children about sustainability from early on
The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) and the Abu Dhabi Educational Council (ADEC) organised a workshop on a pilot programme that hopes to embed environmental education within schools' curricula.
The joint initiative entails continued cooperation between EAD and ADEC targeting Kindergarten, Cycle 1 government schools and private primary schools in Abu Dhabi as part of its pilot phase. In the next few years, the initiative will be implemented on a larger scale to reach even more students.
The workshop outlined the importance of local-specific environmental issues, to promote the idea of sustainability from a young age.
The workshop was inaugurated by H.E. Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, ADEC's director general, H.E. Jaber Al Jaberi, EAD's deputy secretary general and H.E. Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, ADEC's executive director of school operations sector,and was attendedby principals, vice principal's, Arabic and English heads of faculty and science teachers.
"ADEC's vision is to produce world class learners who embody a strong sense of culture and heritage, while preparing them to meet future global challenges. Environmentally friendly initiatives help encourage a positive learning environment in classrooms, as well as brings about positive behavior among students," said H.E. Dr. Al Khaili.
H.E. Al Jaberi said: "Abu Dhabi's Vision 2030 clearly outlines the path towards sustainability; all organisations are expected to orient their strategy towards this Vision and the environment is recognised as one of the most important pillars of sustainability.While environmental concepts are already taught in the classroom, they are not very locale-specific or oriented to a real life context."
He added: "As the mandated body for ensuring environmental sustainability, EAD has also developed focused award-winning environment education modules for students and the whole school community.
"For example, our Enviro-Spellathon programme has been adopted by almost 90% of Abu Dhabi schools, and over 100 schools have integrated the Sustainable Schools Initiative to empower students to become change agents in their community. EAD is implementing these - and other - programmes in schools in tandem with ADEC; however, as participation is voluntary, there is no official dissemination of these concepts and environmental priorities to the next generation whostand to face the issue of global climate change and resource depletion in the future."
"The only way to ensure that environmental programmes and resource material developed by Abu Dhabi Government for schools are used and implemented is by integrating them into the curriculum either by issuing guidelines (as in the case of private schools) and/ or directives (as in the case of Government schools) by ADEC," he added.