GETTING PACIFIC CHILDREN TUNED TO

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SOUTH PACIFIC REGIONAL ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME (SPREP) Apia, Samoa

PRESS RELEASE March 27, 2000

THE ENVIRONMENT

It's back to school for 15 Pacific Island primary level teachers, in Nadi, Fiji, to sharpen up on getting children tuned in to the environment.

The weeklong workshop, March 27-31, is all about helping children to enjoy nature in a more holistic kind of fashion says Education Officer Seema Deo of the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

"We don't expect our children to go around hugging trees. Most Pacific islanders live off the land and they already have an inherent appreciation of nature. It's more to make children understand that there are limits to nature and that we all have a responsibility to make sure we live within those boundaries " she said.

Fiji's Deputy Education Secretary Mr. Tahir Munshi will be on hand to open the workshop.

Teachers from American Samoa, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, will learn the latest environmental education training techniques for primary school children, plus skills in organizing their own in-country training programs.

Ms. Deo says a similar sub-regional workshop in Tonga last year has led to a number of quality training modules being used in primary schools in several parts of the region.

"SPREP is keen to establish in the region a group of environmental educators who have access to the right information and expertise in the region. These programs are the first steps towards achieving that goal as part of our regional action strategy for environmental education and training."

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