Seminar to sensitize students to environmental degradation

In an effort to sensitize school children to protecting nature and the environment, the Young Men’s Christian Association organized a seminar presentation. Speaking at the occasion, the chief guest and resource person Dr. Stephan Scoffham, Professor of Primary Education at Christ Church University of Canterbury, said, “Environmental degradation is one of the major issues that the whole world is brooding over.

In the past fifty years we have been utilizing more than the entire resources of the earth.” Presenting a graph of humanity’s ecological footprint, he pointed out that if the present trend of population growth continues, the earth will soon be depleted of its resources.

Nearly 70 students of various ages from five schools participated in the event. Dr. Scoffham, who has been working with students in India for nearly a decade now, feels that seminars involving people from other countries give an insight to local people on environmental conditions in various parts of the world. “Children must be sensitised to their immediate surroundings so that they care for the ecosystem,” he says. “Every year, we bring groups of trainee teachers to interact with children in India on various topics. Such events help gain inter-cultural knowledge. We do a group discussion and brain-storming session on the topics and come out with ideas.” He has brought along five trainees this year. “We concentrate on students in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Our next stop is Dindigul. Students in India are much brighter in their thinking abilities.”

Caroline Tancock, another professor from Canterbury University, says that though steps towards environment protection should happen at the global mass level, the real solution lies in catching the attention of the future generation. “Often we think that such issues are of global interest and only the high-level authorities should bother. But grassroots-level change happens in the classrooms,” she says. “Such workshops are two-way learning processes, where our trainees get to know how to move around with kids and in turn the children gain knowledge on a global issue.”

A documentary film on environment was screened on the occasion. Titled Home, the one-hour-long film in English was made by nearly 88,000 photographers and videographers across the globe.

The movie talks about the condition of the ecosystem in different regions of the world and the how the cycles of nature and seasons have changed because of pollution.