Environmental Education Promoted Among Children

The Ministry of Education Thursday signed an agreement with the World Wide Fund for Nature and BP, one of the world’s largest oil companies, to implement the second phase of a project which is aimed to promote environmental education among Chinese children and their teachers.

The Environmental Educators’ Initiative (EEI), a six-year program, is organized to put environmental education into China’s national curriculum.

The first phase (1997-2000) of the project focused on the integration of teachers’ training, curriculum development and development of teaching resources. Teachers, trained as part of the program, are key to extending the influence of the program to parts of China.

The second phase will take advantage of dramatic new opportunities to bring environmental education into the mainstream of China’s primary and secondary education system.

China is restructuring its curriculum for kindergarten through secondary education to enhance student-oriented and inquiry-based learning, and the EEI will combine forces with this governmental initiative.

This reform is an opportunity for formalizing environmental education in the new curriculum, said an Education Ministry official.

The second phase will introduce the first master degree program and some short-term training courses in environmental education in China, and form a national network of environmental educators. It will also develop and facilitate the national adoption of a range of resource materials.

Through teacher training, resource development and links between schools and local communities, the project will benefit millions of students and their communities in the country, said the official.

(Xinhua 10/12/2000)

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