AN OVERVIEW OF GREEN TEACHER NIGERIA (GTN) PROGRAMME
Ndem Y.Ndem , outgoing Chairman NTI Green Teacher Programme
Environmental issues and the challenges they pose to sustainable development have, in the past two decades, dominated national and international discourses. This is based on the recognition of the need for people in all nations to “manage their behaviour and ecosystem in order to live sustainably”. Nigeria has a total land area of 982,213 km2 occupied by about 180 million people, the interaction of these millions of people with their environment has left indelible mark on the landscape. Urbanisation, deforestation, desertification, over population and all kinds of population issues are some of the resultant effects of man’s interaction with his environment. These changes occur as the people attempt to acquire their seemingly endless desire for food, shelter, recreation and infrastructural facilities. Though these wants and desires contribute to the development of the country, the unwise use of the land and its resources produce negative impacts on the environment.
Green Teacher Programme (Environment Education)
The Green Teacher Nigeria (GTN) Programme is a 12- month Advanced Diploma Programme in Environmental Education (EE) mounted by the National Teachers’ Institute,( NTI) Kaduna. The plan is to run the programme dates back to 2007 when the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) supported staff of the Institute to go to the Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad, India, to under study how the programme is run.
In order to ensure the smooth, take off of the programme, the COL and NTI signed a contribution agreement for the design and development of the Green Teacher Nigeria, on May 12 2017. The MoU spelt out the responsibilities and roles of each of the co-operating partners. This, undoubtedly, laid a smooth and solid foundation for the commencement of the programme in the Institute.
Preparation for implementation of the GTN Programme
The rationale for the introduction of the GTN Programme by NTI in collaboration with COL was to:
- Enhance teachers’ understanding of:
- The environment and generate deep interest and concerns for environmental issues and problems
- The interconnectedness of socio-economic, political and cultural activities as they relate to environmental issues and problems
- Environmental Education (EE) theories, approaches and methods in handling environmental issues in schools
- Strengthen the skills of teachers in:
- Disseminating among young learners the knowledge and skills of the environment and how to conserve and protect it
- Engendering positive action by individuals, social groups and communities towards protecting the environment for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- Fostering positive attitudes, values and skills among young learners for the protection and improvement of the environment by individuals, different social groups and communities
The following activities were carried out at the National Teachers’ Institute, Kaduna
- Constitution of GTN core team in the institute to drive the programme: This consists of eight seasoned and experienced Education Officers from the academic and professional departments of the Institute. This team has a Chairman and the Secretary who serves as the Desk Officer and contact person for the programme. Also in the team is an accountant who keeps the financial records of the programme.
- Capacity building workshop on Environmental Education: This was organised for staff of the Institute with the following objectives:
- Engender adequate awareness and understanding of the environmental issues and problems in Nigeria
- Enable the participants acquire deep understanding of the National Policy on Environment and its implementation framework
- Enhance participants’ knowledge and skills on Environmental Education
- Build participants’ capacity to design the Green Teacher Nigeria Programme
- Conduct of GTN Modules Development Workshop: Experts were drawn from the Centre for Environmental Education (CEE) Ahmedabad, India, to facilitate the workshop along with others from the Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Ministry of Environment, Institute of Water Resources, Academics from Nigerian Universities as well as NTI core team members. The entire process was overseen by COL Consultant in Nigeria.
Arising from the workshop, four distinct self-instructional learning modules were developed around the themes of:-
- Environmental Education (EE) Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
- Learning to conserve our environment
- Me and My Environmental Education
- Resources for Environmental Education
Guides for facilitators and students were also developed
- Pilot Testing of the Modules: In order to ascertain the quality and standard in these course modules, questionnaire consisting of 54 items was designed and administered to 200 NCE, BSPs, PGDE students and facilitators. The pilot testing was done to ensure the readability and understanding of the materials. The results showed that there were was a high degree of inclination towards full and partial acceptance which reflects massive satisfaction with the contents of all the modules.
- Review of the materials: The materials were further subjected to review by experts. In their remarks, they commended the content adequacy of the modules noting that the language and mode of presentation were sequential, straight-forward and easy to comprehend. Also, the activities and feedback assessment provided in the modules were equally commended. The developed manuals were again internally reviewed and revised by the NTI GTN core team and the consultant and forwarded to experts in India for integration of media and pedagogy.
- Conduct of an e-facilitation workshop: e-facilitation workshop was conducted for NTI staff, focused on developing participants’ knowledge and skills on:
- E-learning and e-facilitation
- E-facilitation in a virtue environment
- Problem based learning in the context of environment education
- Basic e-facilitation skills
- The use of the moodle LMS for the delivery and management of NTI’s Green Teacher programme
- How the PBL model can be used to deliver NTI’s Green Teacher Programmeon a Moodle Platform
- Strategies /road map for the integrated use of e-facilitation and PBL in NTI’s Green Teacher Programme
- Conduct of learning design workshop: this was also conducted with the aim to;
- Develop standard for design and integration of microlearning resources into the GTN programme
- Work with on-site ICT team to support the staff in uploading modules and develop relevant online learning activities for the four environmental education modules.
- Capacity building workshop for NTI field officers: this was aimed at building the capacity of NTI zonal, state co-ordinators and education officers on online delivery and management of the GTN programme. These field officers are expected to serve as facilitators of the progaramme when it becomes full blown in their respective states and zones.
- Development of a roll-out plan: to run the programme successfully, a roll-out plan was developed which highlighted enrollment projection, staff training and advocacy enlightenment strategies.
- Problem-based learning and online assessment workshop
Source: NTI News Bulletin Bi-Monthly Edition, August September 2019 Vol. 1 No. 020, Page 10