Some eleven primary and secondary schools drawn from Mmouckmbie, Lebialem Division, SW Cameroon have picked up skills in conservation arts in a workshop organized by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF). The workshop brought pupils and students from 5 secondary and 6 primary schools in Nwangong, Mmouckmbie and Mmouck Fossimondi with an overall attendance of 24 students and teachers who converged at G.S. Atsombie in Mmouckmbie recently.
Organised by ERuDeF’s Education for Sustainable Development team, the workshop was aimed at diversifying strategies in environmental education. By engaging the pupils and students in nature arts and craft the objective was to deepen their bond with nature, develop skills, encourage and strengthen creativity in the students/pupils with subsequent change in attitudes towards a better environmental and conservation practices. Both students and their teachers engaged in arts activity including painting of different wildlife species as well as different landscapes/forests harboring these animals.
The overall goal of this activity is to support wildlife and habitat conservation, biodiversity, sustainability and environmental education through art that celebrates natural heritage. The schools who took part included, G.S Ndu-Nwangong, GBSS Emolah-Nwangong, G.S. Mmouckmbie, G.S. Atsombie, G.T.C. Mmouckbie, G.S.S. Mmouckbie, G.S. Fossimondi, G.S. Mbelenka , G.B.S.S. Mbelenka, G.S Awut and G.H.S. Mmouck
At the end of the workshop, participants felt closer to nature and confessed of feeling more indebted to protecting their biodiversity. They agreed that while the bond between them and these wildlife species has grown stronger, their art skills have equally been developed. “I am really happy to have been a part of this workshop. I have come to understand different wildlife species and their habitats through painting. I will use this knowledge to continue to teach my students so that they can understand conservation better” A teacher said.
It would be recalled that conservation arts and crafts is a recent approach in Environmental Education which has been adopted around the world to create a sense of consciousness in the young towards environmental protection. It uses art as an educational tool in bringing the environmental message to children and the local communities.
By Akeh Nug