Evaluation of Environmental education activities in selected institutions of Zambia

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Phiri, Adrian
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This study was aimed at evaluating Environmental Education (EE) activities offered by selected Zambian institutions. The evaluation was centered on finding out EE activities which were being offered, their impact on learners' environmental awareness and challenges and prospects these institutions were facing. Since most EE institutions offered similar EE activities, the study focused on specific environmental concerns related to the conservation of natural resources, education and curriculum development and environmental protection and legal framework. The institutions included under this study were; the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Wildlife and Environmental Conservation Society of Zambia (WECSZ), Curriculum Development Centre (CDC), Conservation Lower Zambezi (CLZ) and the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ). The study employed both qualitative and quantitative methods in obtaining information. Primary data from environmental institutions involved in EE was collected. Interviews with coordinators and learners of EE were carried out in order to get in depth information. Observations were also carried out to evaluate the impact of EE activities on learners and the environment. The main finding was that EE institutions in Zambia were doing much in raising environmental awareness among the public. Part or the evidence that pointed to that finding included the increase in articles in the print media, increase in membership to conservation clubs such as Chongololo Clubs and Chongololo Club of the Air (CCOA) Radio programme. There was also integration of EE in the curriculum and designing of a localized curriculum by CDC, WECSZ and WWF. The "Make Zambia Clean and Healthy Programme" was launched by the president, Dr. Levy Mwanawasa with a view to reinforcing the practice of keeping the environment clean. Bins have been put in markets and other designated places and offices for the public to throw litter. Marketeers and government officers actively participated in cleaning markets. The major challenges faced by these institutions included lack of financial resources to fund EE programs. Some institutions such as CLZ had large coverage area to cover, thus making the provision of EE less effective. There was also lack of adequate participation from the learners of EE in designing EE activities. Lack of a national policy on environment was another setback as institutions had no specific guidelines for Zambia's environmental concerns. Institutions were not evaluating their EE activities hence it was difficult to assess the effectiveness of such activities. Major recommendations for the study included the need for EE institutions to provide alternative options in the utilization of resources. Most institutions concentrated on the negative aspect of environmental problems than the positive part EE. There was need to involve stakeholders in the design of EE activities. The future of EE in Zambia was bright. Environmental awareness programmes were being appreciated as shown by increased participation from the public in EE activities.
Environmental education--Zambia