GUWAHATI, April 12 - A roundtable conference on the state of environment education in India was organised at North East Diocesan Social Forum (NEDSF), Kharghuli on April 11. The programme was jointly organised by the North East Diocesan Social Service Society (NEDSSS) and Centre for Environment Education (CEE), as an initiative of Earth Day Network India.
Speaking on the theme, Fr Varghese, director of NEDSSS, said, “Education is the foundation for progress. We need to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and aware of its unprecedented threat to our planet. We need to empower everyone with the knowledge to inspire action in defence of environmental protection. The wise management of the earth’s resources and environment, consistent with the principles of sustainable development, is indispensable for our common future.”
Dr Arup Kumar Misra, Director, Assam State Science Technology and Environment Council (ASTEC), officially inaugurated the programme. In his message he emphasised promotion of environmental education at home from an early age. “Today children need to have hands-on experience on environmental education and need to take environment education seriously,” he said.
Further, he urged all like-minded organisations that are doing similar types of work to have convergence and come forward to work together as a part of developmental work of the State and region.
Officials from State Council for Educational Research and Training, Assam State Environment Science Technology and Environment Council, Axom Sarba Siksha Abhijan, Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhijan, North Eastern Social Research Centre, NGO heads and students participated in the programme.
Fr Walter Fernandez, director, North Eastern Social Research Centre (NESRC), and Dr Simanta Kalita, programme coordinator, Centre for Environment Education (CEE), moderated the sessions. Fr Fernandez said, “In our daily life are we protecting or destroying environment through our lifestyle. Human community and animal have equal right to life with dignity. We need to educate our children about the meaning of loving nature and need to go beyond.” Dr Kalita stressed the need to incorporate environment training in schools.
The conference put forward recommendations such as appointing specialised teachers in schools and colleges, more capacity building programmes for teachers, promotion of more eco-clubs in maximum schools in the State, integration of Swachh Bharat Mission with the support of local government and community, promoting best practices such as nutrition kitchen gardening at school level, involvement of Panchayati Raj Institutions in school education programmes.