Education & empowerment are like wind and fire. The more you blow one the more fire the other produces. Awareness enables responsible behaviour and what better place to start then schools. The Environment education program in Spiti is an initiative to bring about awareness amongst the most sensitive section of the society to enable a more balanced future for this ecologically fragile region.
The environment education program is a joint collaboration between Kalp Vriksh (Pune based environmental group), Snow Leopard Conservancy (Ladakh based NGO working on wildlife and tourism) and Ecosphere.
The objective of the program is two pronged – On the one
hand it aims at educating school children on the various aspects pertaining to our ecology as also our immediate environment that we live in – at the same time the program also looks at training teachers in enabling them to run these programs on their own in their respective schools.
The program has been piloted in 3 schools. The schools have
been selected based on the varying degree of capabilities as well
as education systems they follow. Whereas one of the schools is a private school, the other 2 are government schools. One of them is a central government school (Navodaya) and the other one a state government middle school. Despite the differences in the running of these three schools the response in all the 3 schools
has been overwhelmingly positive.
Content of the Program – The whole idea is to make
learning fun and majority of the content is extremely simple
yet informative. The sessions are filled with games and creative challenges that enable proactive learning. Most of the content is focused around the local ecology, primarily the regions wildlife & flora.
A book has also been developed specifically for teachers, that provides detailed activities, ice-breakers and other specific content pertaining to running all the sessions. The teachers in
the schools can use these books with basic training and run the programs on their own. Ecosphere has been conducting sessions with teachers from the above mentioned schools to enable them
to be self-reliant in running this program.