Relevance of Environmental Health Education
Environmental Health Education offered in learning institutions is intended to serve a dual purpose. First, it is to generate and impart new knowledge on how to respond to environmental health problems and secondly, it is intended to promote good health through enhancement of appropriate use of natural and human resources. Thirdly, it is to effectively accomplish these objectives, Environmental Health Education in the formal Education system must offer relevant content. This paper discusses the "relevance" of Environmental Health Education in learning institutions. Like other types of Education, Environmental Health Education entails passage of new knowledge, acquisition of new skills, and development of desirable attitudes and values. Hence, it is important that as the learners acquire new knowledge and skills and as they develop their attitudes and values, relevant content on health and environment is offered. Here relevance refers to the type of content dealt with that would enhance the attainment of the intended goals. Environmental Health Education content discussed in this paper applies to learners as well as Health Scholars, researchers, professionals, and community members. In assessing the quality of Environmental Health content, relevance is seen as a function of a number of variables namely:- Environment (both its diversity, and dynamism), Technology, and socio cultural situations. In this paper paper therefore, the optimal combination of the above mentioned factors would present the most relevant content. Presently, because of the intervening variables mentioned, the quality of Environmental Health Education content has fallen below expectation especially with respect to precision, recency, practicability and relevance to the contemporary society. Because of this important areas that needs attention are identified. These include; improvement of current research procedures, increase of awareness campaigns to overcome stereotype ideas among the community, development of relevant teaching material, adequate selection of appropriate mode of information dissemination, and retraining of personnel handling the content. Even where adequate attention has been paid to the above areas, selection of appropriate content is still necessary. For relevant content to be obtained, exhaustive consultation is needed especially with curriculum experts, learners, teachers, communities, researchers, and professionals. Thus, the paper concludes, by providing a more durable Environmental Health Education Programme with highly relevant content.