Preparation of the Curriculum
The course was prepared with the following underlying principles:
Based on consultation with teachers and local Caritas staff, the following six topics were considered most relevant to the rural and urban communities where the curriculum was to be taught:
Five posters were also designed to support the lessons, using images that reflect environmentally harmful practices and relevant cause-and-effect relationships.
Introducing the Curriculum
The booklet and the posters were pre-tested in Sohag
|with supervisors and teachers of the Caritas
literacy programme. Afterwards the material was adapted using simpler language
and omitting some issues in the curriculum, such as industrial pollution,
which was considered less relevant for rural communities.
When the curriculum was finalised, all 150 teachers and 30 supervisors were trained for two days on the course content and on how to use the material effectively. Each teacher received a manual and two sets of posters.
Each topic was taught for three hours on a monthly basis. The students started each subject with colouring the pictures in the black-and-white posters and becoming familiar with the issues depicted within.
Community based action to improve local environmental conditions was encouraged by the Caritas teachers by giving examples close to the experiences of the students. Girls and women were encouraged to apply what they learnt in their daily acivities. Songs and stories were performed in the classes to provide a more relaxed atmosphere and practical means of communicating the messages.
Participation of Stakeholders
Key stakeholders that participated in the design
and use of the environmental curriculum are summarised below.
Benefits of the Environmental Lessons
The curriculum was evaluated after the subjects had been taught using a questionnaire for all teachers and through a meeting with a cross section of teachers. The evaluation focused on the problems encountered in teaching the curriculum, its acceptance by students, topics that could be added and environmental actions that occurred as a direct result of teaching the course.