From Uche Uche, Damaturu.
As Yobe state government continues with the campaign against environmental degradation, specifically on open defecation, Lassa fever and coronavirus among thers, a stakeholder in the fight, the director personnel management of Damaturu local government, Abubakar Disa has stressed the importance of education as the key strategy in solving environmental problem but regretted that the system is not doing enough in that direction.
He made his observation known yesterday at the event of advocacy visit to the emir of Damaturu, Alhaji Shehu Hashimi 11 Ibn El-Kanemi, by the state committee on sensitization and advocacy on environmental degradation, which took place at the emir’s palace in Damaturu, the state capital.
“In our country, there is a neglect of the roles of education in resolving environmental problems of which we are victims. Apart from formal education in our country which is not doing enough to tackle these issues, informal education is not nearly sufficient,” he stressed.
According to him, the curriculum of most educational institutions, starting from kindergarten and nursery schools up to the universities often neglect environmental education, while few educational institutions that make effort in the sector are not up-to-date with information concerning global environmental challenges.
He pointed out that people in local communities and suburbs have little or no knowledge of environmental problems like climate change, desertification and land degradation or pollution but have in recent times, started noticing changes in in environmental conditions with the advent of flooding, drought and increase in temperature.
He regretted that in local communities, the old habit that contributes to environmental degradation such as indiscriminate cutting of trees to give way for farming, the use of streams and rivers as toilet and dust bins and the littering of biodegradable plastics have continued unabated.
“All these happens as a result of lack of informal education which could change the mindset of the people in the society…creating awareness and restructuring education sector will go a long way to reduce man’s impact on the environment,” he stated.
He therefore called on the state committee on sensitization and advocacy on environmental degradation, which is spearheading the campaign, to liaise with the ministry of education in the state to mandate schools to include environmental studies into their curriculums right from the grass root.
He also urged that the state media houses be subjected to programs and symposium to educate non-school people in the communities on the impact and consequences of environmental degradation and for tradition leaders to embark on awareness campaign to sensitize their subjects on the importance of sanitation and consequential deceases and ensure that every community resorts to tree planting to reduce environmental challenges.