TOPIC: THE ROLE OF TEACHERS IN ENSURING ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY GUEST: Oluwaseun Samuel Osadola (PhD)
The CEO of Osodox & Co Research Outlet as well as a lecturer with the department of History and International Studies, Federal University Oye Ekiti. He is a volunteer with Emeraldscape Environmental Development ( EMEND). Question: What is Environmental Sustainability and why is it important? Answer: Environmental Sustainability just has to do with making the environment safe, habitable. Environmental sustainability is concerned with whether environmental resources will be protected and maintained for future generations. It is very important to assess the impact of human activities on the local ecosystems and the planet as a whole on a regular basis to preserve the environment for the future generation. Question: Who is a Teacher? Answer: A teacher is person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence and virtue. He gives verified information. Question: What is the significance of teachers in the society? Answer: A Teacher is very important to the environment. Everyone has to go through one learning process or the other. Some of their significances include; 1.Teachers simplify complex things.
They are also mentors and role models to youths,
They play a vital role in building the ideologies that determine the way individuals view life, and respond to issues.
They help students to come to self realisation and help in developing their skills.
Question: What is the place of Environmental Education in creating awareness and achievement of a sustainable environment? Answer: Education forms the basis of everything in our world today including the environment. Environmental education is important as it helps to inform our choices. It gives us an understanding of our environment and how we interact with our environment . It brings about change. Change is a common phenomenon in every society, it happens more when they inch closer to any new thought, ideas and with new innovations and development It helps to create new cultures of eco consciousness especially when it has to do with children, because childhood is an important stage where cultures are cultivated. Question: What are the challenges hindering effective implementation of a Sustainable Environment? Answer: Human activity though it impacts on the environment cannot be entirely stopped. Because there is need for man to survive. However there must be some efforts made at preserving the environment or minimising the effects of human activities on the environment. Some of the challenges affecting full realisation of Sustainability include;
Human Nature: The nature of man cannot be overlooked. Some persons have laissez faire attitudes, while some persons are societal deviants, some are stubborn. All these will affect the achievement of our goals, because as some persons are amending, some persons are destroying
Lack of awareness: Some persons are not aware of the full implications of their actions.
Need for growth and development: It is true that urbanization, industrialization etc have adverse impacts on the environment but there is also the need for growth, economic growth and development.
Question: Possible solutions to the hindrances of achieving a Sustainable Environment? Answer: The importance of education and creating awareness cannot be over emphasized. Brain storming for alternative ways of achieving development and living, more sustainable consumption and production pattern.
Question: Why is important for students to learn about Environmental Sustainability? Answer: It is important to educate the young people about the environment because; they are the future of any nation. Knowledge of the environment based on a balanced presentation of current scientific information. Knowledge of sustainable development and environmental awareness is a burning issue these days therefore it should be the first lesson for the child Some of the reasons include;
To influence policy making
They build eco consciousness
To help students to determine what is best to conserve in their cultural, economic and natural heritage and to nurture values and strategies for attaining sustainable development in their local communities while contributing at the same time to national and global goals.
Question: What are the possible ways that Government and NGOs can help teachers to achieve the goal of creating awareness? Answer: It is our collective responsibility to ensure that the environment is sustainable. All hands must be on deck to effectively achieve this goal. Government and NGOs can help teachers by organising Educators and Teachers Training programmes. Educating is an extremely complex task, it includes: skills, ability to ponder and criticize, teaching, training, understanding and planning, communicating and the ability to be a guide for those in training. Government and NGOs can ensure that teachers are well equipped with the requisite skills to achieve this. Government should include environmental education in the school curriculum especially at the primary and junior secondary school levels.
Question: What are the possible areas you think teachers should improve on and what tips can you give to help in the achievement of these goals? Answer: A teacher is the friend, philosopher and guide of the students. Teachers should help students learn how to identify elements of unsustainable development and how to address them.
They should make environmental education for sustainable development part of a process of building an informed, concerned and active student. Teacher should take a leading role in pursuing the action on sustainable development and environment education, whether acting as individuals infusing environmental perspectives into their classes or collectively fostering environmental education. Or through creations of eco clubs in their schools, or through volunteering with NGOs and other movements.
Emeraldscape Environmental Development (EMEND) is a non governmental organization set up to promote sustainable environmental culture, create awareness through the media, conferences, seminars and workshops on global environmental issues to ameliorate the impact of global warming.