It is a fact that natural science taught in tropical schools suffers through having evolved from that of temperate countries; and this may be said not only of its content, but of the methods used in teaching it. The long ‘dead’ winter of the temperate zones, connected to what is generally an urban environment, has encouraged an indoor approach to the subject, based on the study of dead specimens and of books, which we who teach in the tropics have less need to impose on ourselves. We are fortunate to work where direct contact with plants and animals in their natural habitats is usually possible at all seasons of the year.
Exploiting this asset, especially when introducing biology in the fourth year of secondary school, would seem to hold considerable advantages. Then our students are most likely to come to appreciate the subject for what it is — a study of plants and animals by man — rather than as information to be accepted and memorized. A prior acquaintance with living plants and animals would provide the soundest possible background for the more systematic study of later years.
Guyana today, a developing country having come out of a period of colonialism, greatly needs to take careful and accurate stock of its resources. The development programmes are placing increasing emphasis on agriculture, particularly the need for its diversification. However, it is obvious that in order to accomplish diversification of agriculture and improvement of our natural resources, we need to know, among other things, exactly what plants (edible and otherwise), animals and soils that we have in Guyana, where they are and what are their characteristics. With such knowledge, we can develop techniques for maximizing our gains from the soil, conducting research, promoting eco-tourism, creating employment and thus, go a long way towards real economic independence and indeed, lead easier lives.
Towards this end, Evergreen Nature Study Club was established in September 1997, Georgetown, and soon taken to secondary and primary schools in other parts of the country with the aim of awakening the curiosity of the human mind emphasizing on natural science, geography, research techniques and tourism habits. To date, there are Club Representatives in every Administrative Region of the country, the last being Region 8, Mahdia in 2003.
Besides practical outreach projects, a number of booklets have been produced by the Club and most importantly, this year the Club has embarked on a Project entitled: School Environment Enhancement (SEE) for secondary schools in Regions 5, 4 (and Georgetown District) and 3 namely, Bygeval, Soesdyke, North Georgetown and Parika-Salem Secondary Schools, respectively, as starters. The project is expected to evolve into a lasting programme with satisfactory effects on local cultural habits. The objective is to encourage students towards greater participatory activities in sound agricultural/environmental science methods such as separation of bio-degradable/non- bio-degradable waste, composting and schoolyard aesthetics in Guyana’s schools as we strive towards a green economy. Other schools are encouraged to adopt similar practices.
Education can be exciting. Every student knows that outdoors is fun and only copying notes in class is boring.
Congratulations to all our representatives and students in every Region of Guyana on the occasion of the Club’s Twenty-First Anniversary.
Fitz H. Ogle
Evergreen Nature Study Club
Oct 15, 2018Eagles Basketball Club and Pacesetters played both matches contested on Saturday at the Burnham hard court in the Second and First Division of the Rainforest Water/Malta Supreme/Georgetown Amateur...
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