DRC: Integrating environmental education into the school curriculum

Environmental education will be integrated into school curricula from September 2020 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This is the meaning of the tête-à-tête held on July 13, 2020 between the Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development of the DRC, Claude Nyamugabo, and his colleague from Primary, Secondary and Technical Education Willy Bakonga. The measure aims to involve children in the fight for the protection of the environment by transmitting messages of environmental sanitation, protection and respect for the natural heritage.

It is important that children grow up with a certain culture to protect the environment, soil, water, air, forests, etc. “It is important that children grow up in a healthy environment for their physical and psychological development,” said Willy Bakonga, Minister of Primary, Secondary and Technical Education. For Claude Nyamugabo, Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development, the integration of environmental education into school curricula will show children the complexity of environmental issues and their role in this common fight.

Environmental education

Promoted in 1972 by UNESCO, environmental education, often associated with notions of eco-citizenship, is a pedagogical approach rooted in ancient currents such as new education, human ecology, popular education which aims to change human practices in the use and management of the earth’s resources.

Formerly reserved for national conferences, protocols and debates, environmental education in the DRC is more necessary than ever to preserve nature. Its extension to the school environment will have a positive long-term impact on the fight against deforestation, urban insalubrity and various forms of pollution. According to a report published in 2017 on this Central African country by the World Health Organization (WHO), each year, environmental risks (indoor and outdoor air pollution, passive smoking, unsafe water, lack of sanitation and poor hygiene) cause the death of 1.7 million children under the age of 5.

Boris Ngounou