The environmental studies aims at developing a world population that is aware of and concerned about, total environment and its associated problem. For this purpose, it is necessary to educate all the sections of society, both in rural as well as in urban areas. The population of these areas can be categorized into 3 groups. These are children who are attending schools and colleges, literates and educated and elite people.
There is wide variation among the school children of different age groups including the schools drop outs. Being fresh and open minded school children have great ability to read, write and understand the subject easily. Further, they are always anxious to learn. The greatest advantage is that the school children can be motivated very easily to initiate suitable activities in the interest of school community and nation without any vested interests. To ensure the active participation of children’s, the lesson taught should be practical and simple enough to be practiced them. For Illiterate and school dropouts, different communication tools will have to be adopting. Good lessons learnt at this stage will certainly turn the children into responsible citizen and can ensure a safe Earth, if we impart environmental education to them today.
A Majority of population, especially in developing and under developed world, is illiterate or semi-illiterate. These people are unable to understand the gravity of environmental pollution. This group of people is most affected by the pollution and unaware of this fact they are struggling to make their live hood. This is most important section of target group and the most effective way to motivate them to link environmental protection with income generation activities. This illiterate group of people (both children and adults) should be imparted with non-formal methods of environmental education. As this group is widely scattered, school children, teachers, young clubs, voluntary agencies and local leaders can be influence them with personal contacts and by such educating them using audio-visual media. Regular use of mass media, such as radio, T.V., cinema, street plays and village meetings are effective.
The educated people usually have a sound educational background and assured source of income but they have little interests to take active participation in the field projects. This target groups should be effectively addressed because they have ability to influence majority of population as well as the policy makers in the government. This group has to be enlightened with scientific reasoning and logical conclusions about the causes of environmental pollution, hazardous effects and suggested methods to solve the problems. These people can also initiate certain activities in their residential areas or community projects to prevent pollution. The educated groups can be oriented on environmental protection through newspapers, journals, magazines, radio, T.V. and booklets apart from public meetings and seminars.
Environmental education is necessary to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle. It is easier to introduce environmental education in both formal and non-formal manner for children through schools and colleges. The non-formal education on environment can be introduced immediately with the cooperation of school administration and teachers but for formal education, the state education related to environment in the school curricula at various levels.
Environment Education as a Multidisciplinary Subject
Environmental Education is considered as Multidisciplinary Subject because the effective study of environment requires the knowledge of many subjects. For example following subjects help in the understanding of different components of environment:
1. Subjects like physics, chemistry, geology, atmospheric science, oceanography; geography helps in understanding the physical and chemical nature of abiotic components.
2. Mathematics, statistics and computer science also help in modeling and management of environment.
3. Various branches of life sciences like zoology, botany, microbiology, genetics, biochemistry and biotechnology helps in understanding the environment.
4. Economics, sociology, education and mass communication do help in understanding the socio-economic aspects of environment.
5. Civil engineering, hydraulics and chemical engineering helps in limiting waste reduction and environmental pollution.
6. Environmental laws, effective protection of environment can be done by enforcing
the environment laws implemented by government from time to time.