Factors Influencing Awareness and Participation of Secondary School Students in Environmental Education Activities in Dagoretti -West Sub-County, Kenya
Kinyi, Emily Irene Njeri
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Widespread environmental degradation persists, despite teaching of environmental education at various levels of education. The objectives of this study were to establish the level of awareness and participation on Environmental Education activities among teachers and learners in secondary school, to find out what Environmental Education activities exist in secondary schools and factors that hinder their delivery, to identify the relationship between teachers' awareness of. environmental education and students' understanding and participation in environmental activities and to find out ways in which environmental education activities in schools can be enhanced among public secondary schools in Dagoretti West sub-county. The study targeted all the Head teachers and their Deputies, Head Students and some students within eleven Public Secondary School, in Dagoretti west sub-county. A pilot survey was carried out in two schools outside the district to gauge the applicability of the questionnaire. Data was collected using questionnaire of the selected Environmental Education related subjects. Structured questionnaires were used to solicit data from the teachers and students in the study. A total of 100 teachers and 165 students were used for the study. Data from questionnaires were coded then scored for analysis to show the particulars Environmental Education objective there in. The results were presented in texts, tabular form and analyses done by use of percentages, means and frequencies. The level of teachers' awareness was above average on Environmental aspects which included water pollution, air pollution, waste management and disposal, impact of deforestation. and land pollution. Students carry out activities in schools in order to create and increase Environmental awareness include; tree planting, waste management, forest cover education, use of environmentally biodegradable materials among others are above mean of 3. Students showed a generally high level of awareness on waste management's and disposal. It also showed that teachers have been involved in various environmental aspects including teaching experience, directing towards environmental awareness, planning Environmental Education and are among the factors that hinder delivery of Environmental Education which were below average. The relationship between teachers awareness and students understanding of Environmental Education issues was positive (r=0.202, p=0.044). This implies that the students understanding increased with an increase in the teachers' awareness. Hence, need for teachers specializing with Environmental Education and Environmental Education made a subject. The study established that though Environmental Education is adequately incorporated in the Secondary School Syllabus of subjects studied, various challenges are faced by the teachers in the teaching of Environment Education theme, inadequate instructional materials, inadequate training of teachers to handle Environmental Education related topics in the subjects area and over reliance of the lecture method among others. The study recommends that there is need for improving teachers' levels of awareness of environmental aspects since this is likely to influence the levels of Understanding of students, which is envisaged to change of attitude and skills in managing and taking care of the environment. As a matter of fact, Environmental Education material should be provided to schools with the aim of providing teachers and students with additional information about what ought to be done to save our environment and the planet.