Environmental education was introduced in Kenya in 2017, the mandatory curriculum runs up to Grade 3 – age 8. The new ‘Environment Activities’ education curriculum introduces students to the environment around them, how to care for it, managing natural resources like water, plant and animal life and introduces the concept of climate change.
Environmental education can have the following benefits:
- Promoting a healthy lifestyle
- Creates awareness of environmental challenges
- Introduces respect for nature and why we should be kind to it
- Promotes personal responsibility for the protection of the environment
- Supports and promotes critical and creative thinking
- Strengthens communities by promoting collaborative projects
Having learnt the foundations of this subject can promote respect and awareness of the environment in younger children. However, the limitations of the curriculum arise when the subject takes a back seat after Grade 3. And highlights a significant gap in learning among older generations.
Most communities in Kenya have been affected by climate change – rising sea levels, increased droughts, changes to seasons etc. But due to the new introduction of the environmental awareness curriculum, many adults in Kenya are unable to identify the connection between climate change and human activities. One study found that the majority of university students were unaware of global and national responses to climate change and assumed that the effects of climate change affect only farmers not the general population.
Kenya is acutely vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change – some may argue that it is already suffering at the hands of global heating. By providing robust climate and environmental education there is a huge opportunity for homegrown community solutions to mitigating climate change through knowledge and skill sharing and creating positive behavioural change.
Finding innovative ways of mitigating climate change is imperative to have a truly global solution to climate change. That’s why the LEF believes it’s important to provide climate education to people of all ages. We’re looking to partner with local organisations to educate and nurture the next generation of climate activists – no matter their age – to work together to find sustainable and income-generating ways of protecting the environment around us.