The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) through its Environmental Education Unit says it has concluded a two-week open virtual summer school for children and teenagers aged from five to 17 years. It held from August 11 to20, 2020.
The purpose of the virtual school, according to the NCF, was to engage the children and teenagers during the lockdown in environmental education and prepare them as ambassadors for environmental conservation. The group added that, since its inception, it has been keen on environmental education for school children up to tertiary institution level.
“This has necessitated establishment of Conservation Clubs in schools and Bird Clubs in the communities across the nation,” disclosed Mrs. Bidemi Balogun, Head of Environmental Education.
According to her, the school has revealed that learning is not restricted to physical classroom for children, adding that “this is the new normal everybody has to embrace going forward”.
She said: “The NCF Eco Summer School was set up in continuation of the Conservation Club activities; the idea came up because of the pandemic that has placed restriction on large gathering especially children. The two weeks have been fun with the children, their participation was highly encouraging and impressive. We had exciting activities with them. Some of the materials are available for them to go over to aid continual learning. We were able to touch on most aspects of the environment.”
Sharing his experience through the telephone, 12-year-old Ohigbai Aigbavboa said: “My experience in this summer school has been very fantastic. Now I have become much better in arts and crafts, and I have learnt the importance of recycling, bird watching, butterfly and biodiversity. I want to say a big thank you to NCF Eco Summer School for the services they provided to us all.”
Ten-year-old Moduroti Akinola said: “The NCF Eco Summer School was an interesting two weeks. I had a great time learning about the ecosystem. The most interesting part of it was the arts and craft. I also enjoyed the virtual trip. I look forward to being on the canopy walk soon. Thank you NCF for the great experience.”
Birdwatching, butterfly collection, biodiversity, green cooking as well as arts and craft were some of the aspects of the environment that the over 100 participants were exposed to, said the NCF, adding that WhatsApp and Google were platforms used to engage the participants.