Sohag Governorate Environmental Action Plan
Community Environmental Projects
Case Study
Environmental Curriculum for
Literacy Classes, Sohag
INTRODUCTION

Environmental awareness and capacity building are among the top priority issues mentioned in the Sohag Governorate Environmental Action Plan (GEAP). Caritas, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), approached SEAM with a request to support the development of an environmental curriculum and teaching material for literacy classes. Caritas had worked with literacy classes for children and adults in many rural communities where it received requests to include environmental issues in their teaching programme. 

For many years, Caritas has been active in non-formal education in Sohag Governorate, where the illiteracy rate has progressively declined to around 36%. It organises literacy classes in 150 villages that are attended by over 3,000 students. It also provides teacher training to women from the villages, who use these skills for literacy education . A literacy programme is usually initiated when there is a demand from the village community 

ISSUES

A major issue arising from consultations for the Sohag Governorate Environmental Action Plan was the lack of environmental awareness. Without awareness, entrenched practices in rural and urban communities, such as dumping refuse in canals and drains are having a negative impact on the
environment.

While environmental education is now covered in primary schools, it has not been part of literacy classes that are attended by children and adults who have either dropped out of school or who never went to school. In villages where Caritas worked, a number of the less educated villagers expressed an
interest in improving their understanding of the adverse effects of their habitats on the environment. Literacy classes provided an appropriate entry point to improve this understanding and can complement public and personal health classes already taught.

Most Caritas literacy classes are attended by women. They are a good target group for environmental education, as they are often responsible for waste handling, and they play an important role in raising the awareness of their children on hygiene and health issues.

In summary the following issues were addressed in the context of this project:

  • To develop an environmental course tailored to the needs of those attending literacy classes.
  • To promote a better understanding of the adverse effects of pollution on their living environment.
  • To try and change entrenched bad practices that cause pollution.
 

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