9 December 2010
SERENDIPITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
I don’t profess to know much about education let alone environmental education in Africa or the rest of the world. I do know that people have become more distanced from nature and that the knowledge of nature is decreasing.
I suppose the main reason is urbanisation and the lack of formal environmental education in schools. Moving to the city takes kids out of the rural environment away from nature and school learning is often just book learning and no attempt is made to link the learning to the environment. If you are poor and live in a township the chances are that you will never encounter anything wild or natural and you will hardly leave the township.
Serendipity made the last penguin release by the South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre (SAMREC) a much bigger success than usual. A large group of kids had been bussed to the beach and were there at the same time the penguins were released. It was wonderful to watch how the kids followed the penguins as they swam along the beach. The teachers (or organisers) had to answer many questions about penguins, where they came from, why they came and where they were going.
A small victory for environmental education but none the less a sweet one!