Contributions of conservation Education Centres Towards Sustainable Environmental Awareness in Schools, A Case of Giraffe Centre Nairobi County
Njagi, Gathuku George
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The purpose of the study was to evaluate the contributions of conservation education ncentres in creating awareness to promote sustainable environmental conservation in schools. In this regard, public education is critical in raising levels of awareness in environmental conservation. The results of this study will contribute to future review and improvement of environmental education and awareness programmes offered by other conservation education centres. A descriptive survey design was adopted targeting pupils, administrators and teachers from 26 out of 205 primary schools in Nairobi County. Purposive sampling was used to select 16 schools that have participated in the Giraffe Centre’s environmental education programmes while simple random sampling was used to select 10 schools that had not participated in the same. One hundred and thirty (130) pupils, 26 administrators and 42 teachers from the selected schools were sampled. Questionnaires designed for pupils and teachers/administrators plus a checklist was used as the main tools for data collection. Quantitative data collected was coded and entered into an SPSS programme (version 17) for analysis. Qualitative data was put under themes consistent with the research objectives. Pearson’s coefficient of correlation (r) was also used to analyze data at 0.05 level of significance. Results were presented by use of tables, pie-charts and bar graphs. Results show that the EE and Awareness programmes offered at the Giraffe Centre are relevant to the school curriculum; these programmes help pupils to actualize what they learn in theory. Results further show that the environmental knowledge retained by pupils regardless of age or gender was statistically significant (0.9203 ± 1.28) for trained schools versus (1.4977 ± 1.28) for untrained schools (t (128) = 8.287, P = 0.51). The study further revealed that the schools environmental status regardless of their status and location was statistically significant (-0.6848 ± 0.25) for trained schools versus (1.8148 ± 0.25) for untrained schools t (25) = 0.931, P = 0.133) as simple conservation measures could be taken. By implication, these findings show that the environmental education and awareness programmes offered by the Giraffe Centre impart sustainable environmental conservation skills to pupils and teachers, but there is need for the Giraffe Centre to develop an EE and ESD curriculum and accredit the teachers’ workshops through affiliation with one of the local universities for credibility.