Objectives of the study:
To design and prepare a learning package on environmental education.
To study the environmental programmes and activities conducted in secondary schools.
To examine the environmental awareness of the secondary school students.
To provide orientation to teachers on environmental education and Gandhian approach to environment.
To suggest intervention strategies for protection and preservation of environment.
The study was conducted on a sample of 500 students from 30 secondary schools. And 200 secondary school teachers of Dindigul district in Tamil Nadu
Questionnaire for Teachers
Environmental Awareness Scale
School Environmental Profile
method was used in this study.
Frequency count and percentage analysis
Schools in Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu were not found environmentally safe.
Participatory intervention programmes like tree plantation, constructing soak pits for waste water management, cleanliness drive have been taken up very rarely in secondary schools.
Eco clubs have been established in most of the secondary schools, but activities such as art from waste, wealth from waste, recycling and reusing non toxic material, kitchen gardening and caring of medical plants were not undertaken by the students on regular basis.
Massive tree plantation programme has been carried out in schools occasionally, but the continuous nurturing of the plants have not been taken up.
The study revealed that 96.8% of the students consider environment as the surroundings of human beings including natural resources.
It is evident that the school students are well aware of protecting environment. As 98.4% of the students agreed that protecting environment is the responsibility of each and every citizen.
Further 88.8 % of the respondents reported that industrial waste and automobile exhausts were responsible for environmental pollution.
According to 55.2% of the respondent’s personal hygiene, family hygiene and society’s hygiene were the three factors essential for development of healthy environment.
Pure air, clean water and hygienic food were necessary for healthy living according to 89.4% of students.
Deforestation leads to environmental degradation according to 86.8 percent of students and 62.4 percent of students agreed that protection of forest is essential for environmental protection and biodiversity conservation.
Deforestation can prevent seasonal rains according to 92.6percent of students.
94.2 percent of students mentioned that tree plantation is essential for environmental protection and 92.8 percent of students suggested that soil erosion can be prevented by growing trees.
Destroying the natural habitat, cutting down trees should be made punishable according to 84.6% of students, 87.2 percent of students indicated that industrial waste is responsible for soil pollution and industrial waste is responsible for soil pollution and industrial smoke pollutes air according to 92.4% of students.
Automobiles exhaust pollutes the air according to 84.8% of students and 77.2% of the respondents opinioned that waste water from house holds can lead to water pollution.
Improper disposal of drainage water can lead to environmental degradation according to 82.2 percent of students and the solid and liquid wastages can increase air pollution according to 89.6% of students.
Water stagnation on streets causes adverse effects and is a health hazard according to 70.8% of students.
Every school should have proper waste water disposal system as mentioned by 90 percent of students and the improper disposal of solid waste should be arrested according to 76.2% of students.
Environment is polluted by plastic and chemical wastes according to 88.6% of students.
Garbage can be recycled to protect environment through proper management plan (76.4%) and communicable diseases can be prevented by maintaining toilets and hygienic practices according to 78.8% of students.
As per the results, 92.2% of the respondents agreed that toilet facility is a basic need of each and every household . The practice of open defecation needs to be prevented. Community toilets should be provided for environmental sanitation as open air defecation leads to spread of communicable diseases(85 percent).
Spiting in the public should be made punishable according to 85.4% of students.
96.0% of students took bath every day and only 95.8% of the students brushed their teeth morning and night.
Communicable diseases can be prevented by drinking boiled water according to 90.8% of students.
Birds and animals are to be protected for maintain environmental biodiversity and 91.4% of the students wanted to stop killing of birds and animals.
Environmental education and management are needed for protecting environment according to 90.8% students and 93.2% of students pointed that environmental education is an essential prerequisite in school curriculum.
Avoiding the use of electricity during day time can conserve power storage in Tamil Nadu according to 65.2% of students and 81.8% preferred to turn off lights and fans when it is not needed.
Wasting of water should be stopped according to 82.6 percent of students and water tap should be repaired immediately if it is leaking. (82.2 percent).
76.4% of the respondents advocated to construct household and community and soak-pits to arrest waste water.
Art from waste should be encouraged in the schools according to 52.4 percent of students.
Students should participate in environmental camp (73.0 percent) and students should take effort for keeping their environment clean and tidy according to majority of respondents (89.2 percent). However,it is revealed that only 81.6% of the respondents participated in the activities of Eco clubs in secondary schools.
Traditional habit of walking to schools should be encouraged among the students instead using the transports to save fuel according to 67.2%.
63.4% of the respondents agreed to use renewable energy and 67% of students refrained from using plastics and 70.2% of students advocated to avoid the use of plastic covers and bags to protect the nature.
Majority of the respondents 78.8% wanted to use organic manure to grow plants in their gardens and 67.8 % of respondents wanted to avoid chemical fertilizers as it is toxic and harmful to people.
Punishment for violating the environmental laws save nature and biodiversity according to 79.6% students and the message to protect wildlife.
Destroying forests and cutting plants should be punishable according to 88.4% and 67.8% of the respondents recommended tree plantation campaign in schools and surrounding areas.
Dumping the garbage in the school campus and surrounding areas should be stopped. Waste management should be encouraged and students should learn to reduce, recycle and reuse the waste.
Environmental awareness need not always lead to environment action, but awareness can always ignite action among students.
Open defecation should be stopped and use of public toilets should be encouraged in rural areas.
Adequate water for toilet purpose and cleaning should be provided to the schools.
Environmental film shows and debates should be conducted in all schools.
Computer assisted models should be used for teaching the environmental issues at the secondary level.
Gardening and tree plantation should be encouraged among students in all the secondary schools.
Keyword(s): Environment, Environmental Education, Biodiversity, Ecosystem, Environmental Problems, Environmental Awareness