Siren is supporting a programme which works with an extensive network of schools in Cameroon through a partnership with a Cameroon-based NGO, the United Africa Association (UNAFAS). UNAFAS’ Conservation Values Programme aims to develop interest in and positive attitudes and behaviours towards the natural environment. They have focused much of their work on schools and communities close to important areas for Great Ape conservation, most notably the Cross River Gorilla.
In 2012, UNAFAS CVP initiated three regional working groups made up of teachers, teacher trainers and education managers. Each working group contributed to a review of Cameroon’s national curriculum, identifying areas where conservation issues like wildlife law and ecotourism could be taught within the current system. The working groups also developed a survey for educators, investigating their understanding of environmental topics. This has been completed by 1200 teachers, and its analysis will permit a very detailed understanding of teacher’s training needs.
New conservation education resources, including stage-specific lesson plans, have been created by working group members with input from conservation experts. Funds permitting, the resources will be finalized and distributed widely, along with original and French translations of PACE pack materials. This project, now embedded with local education authorities responsible for the professional development of teachers in many hundreds of primary and secondary schools, has the potential to influence teaching practice across Cameroon. The project has attracted funding from the Arcus Foundation’s Great Ape strand with additional funding (held by UNAFAS) from Tusk and the Gorilla Foundation.
Download a powerpoint Lesson plan created by teacher Frederick Banboye, an advanced skills teacher at PSS Nkwen. The lesson plan was developed at a UNAFAS workshop with ISTP* and DYFOP** and is based on an excerpt from the PACE book Africa Our Home.
*In Service Training Programme of the CBS PCC schools in Anglophone Cameroon
**Dynamisation Fonctionnelle de la Pédagogie, a training programme for secondary schools in Francophone Cameroon
VIDEO: One teacher, Melanie Tamnjong, was inspired by the PACE film about a nursery in South Africa which makes its toys and furniture from papier maché. Melanie creatively adapted the papier maché recipe to include only waste items that are easily available in Cameroon’s schools. The technique met with great interest at teacher events, so we helped to make a short video to share her method with other teachers and do more to promote papier maché as a way to make cheap but interesting 3D classroom resources. School managers in Cameroon often struggle with waste management, and this is a way to make something useful with waste paper, provide a practical activity for children, and teach about recycling and keeping the environment clean and healthy.
Report on the project to the Environmental Education Association of Africa’s 2012 conference (.pdf)
Presentation at the World Environmental Education Congress June 2013: “Developing resources and building capacity for environmental education in schools in Cameroon” (.pdf)