The Saint Lucia National Trust received funding from the United Nations Environment Programme Regional Coordinating Unit of the Caribbean Environment Programme to execute the project entitled “Training teachers to increase student awareness and understanding of the importance of marine protected areas” in St. Lucia in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries, and with support from the Ministry of Education. This initiative has its origins in the Caribbean Marine Protected Areas Management (CAMPAM) project which seeks to enhance the protection of the marine space in selected Caribbean countries, including Saint Lucia.
The goal of the project is to raise awareness and understanding of the marine environment in general, and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and marine biodiversity in particular, among primary school teachers and/or secondary school science and social science teachers. It will seek to equip them with the knowledge, contacts, tools, activities and supporting materials necessary for them to teach their students about the marine environment.
The objectives of the project are:
- To develop a Teachers’ Professional Development Course;
- To pilot the Teachers’ Professional Development Course; and
- To promote the Teachers’ Professional Development Course and the inclusion of the marine environment in lesson plans.
Earlier this year, the training sessions were conducted with training exercises taking place in the north and in the south of the island respectively. The sessions were held in following locations; Vieux Fort, Soufriere and Rodney Bay. The training culminated with the presentation of the final module, and a closing ceremony where the teachers received certificates of participation.
The participants were provided with a manual, and are encouraged to use the material there-in to support their work. Equipment and supplies will be procured under the project to facilitate the lessons on the marine environment to the students.