Education in Environment Issues, Orissa, (EIEIO), is a long term project which we have set up under the umbrella of MANGRO. It concentrates especially on the educational side of our work, providing resources which can be used in our Eco-clubs and also in the community.
Over the past four years we have built up an extensive library of books, DVDs, and other materials which can be used by students, teachers, and environmentalists in the area. It is difficult to imagine how valuable such a resource is in an area where even a High School might only have a wardrobe-sized cupboard for its library. Relevant material from the books (which are mostly in English) is being translated into the local language, Oriya, by volunteers.
The Library keeps observation records of the local natural history, and encourages local people to participate in this potentially valuable work. Perhaps the most important contribution of the project has been the development of education resources for the use of Eco-Clubs.
Material on a number of themes has been produced – ‘Mangroves’, ‘Birds’, ‘Climate and Weather’, ‘The Water Cycle’, and ‘Plants’. The emphasis is on activity-based learn, with the intention of developing basic scientific skills.
Training is provided to local teachers in the use of the materials, and to encourage more activity-based teaching. Local teacher and children are avidly hungry for this kind of teaching/learning, and are very enthusiastic users of everything we produce. Our new MANGRO Resources Centre will provide a proper home for the material, and will make this work easier.