A study on the level of environmental awareness among students in mainland Tanzania: the case of four secondary schools in Dodoma urban and Kinondoni district

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University of Dar es Salaam
The world is facing many problems such as refugees, drug abuse, diseases, conflicts/wars, drought, environmental degradation, famine and others. All these problems need special attention in addressing them so that appropriate steps are employed for their eradication. Current environmental problems have resulted into global awareness in environmental issues and environmental degradation has now become one of the greatest threats to life especially in the third world countries in which Tanzania is included. These environmental problems which result from destruction of natural resources include desertification, pollution and deforestation. Such environmental problems are so severe that governments, organizations and individuals all over the world have taken initiatives to stop further destruction. Since Tanzania is experiencing this crisis, some measures have been applied in trying to arrest the situation. At present, the major concern is to assess the magnitude of our environmental problems and to take action which shall secure our future survival and well-being. Public awareness of the degree of environmental deterioration and depletion of natural resources is fundamental in any plan to combat environmental degradation. The awareness in environmental issues has to be geared towards creating peoples' willingness to protect, conserve and improve the natural resources. Tanzania has identified the need to create public awareness concerning the environmental problems that is facing the country. Therefore the government has tried several measures to enhance public motivation and participation in order to minimize or solve the problem. Also there is a great need of ways to strengthen environmental awareness through the mass media and education at all levels. This study is therefore designed to evaluate the content of Environmental Education (EE) in Secondary schools and its effect on environmental awareness especially among students. Thus, it tries to find out the extent of Environmental Education and its provision in secondary schools. The study was carried out in four secondary schools in Dodoma urban and Kinondoni districts in Dodoma and Dar es Salaam regions respectively. The selected schools were Dodoma and Central in Dodoma urban district, and Kiluvya and Makongo in Kinondoni district. This study is presented in five different chapters, chapter one is basically the introduction which provides introductory information about environmental issues, background and statement of the problem, objectives, significance and hypotheses of the study. Also this chapter defines some of the terms used in the dissertation and finally presents limitations that were encountered in the study. Chapter two is mainly on literature review and as such it makes a review of available literature on this particular subject showing what has been done by other scholars, their findings and recommendations. Chapter three discusses the methodology which includes the area of study and the research design. This chapter presents all the methodological procedures that were used in this work which are: sampling techniques, sample size, methods of data collection, presentation and analysis. Chapter four which is concerned with data presentation shows the research findings as obtained from the field together with the analysis and discussion. Chapter five presents the conclusion by suggesting some recommendations and measures to be adhered to so as to arrest the environmental crisis. These measures are mostly through provision of Environmental Education to people but with special attention to youths and especially students who are the future generation. Major instruments which include secondary sources, questionnaires, interviews, and direct observations with photographing were used to collect data in the study. Findings revealed that Environmental Education has been introduced in the schools which were researched. The knowledge on Environmental Education is acquired by students in specific subtopics or themes in different subjects such as geography, biology, chemistry, general studies and domestic science. The findings further showed that teachers are not trained to teach EE and so they are not conversant with the subject. Also, it was found that while there is lack and/or shortage of teachers and teaching aids, the number of students in a class is too big for the teacher to manage. The study also indicated that there is a language problem for both teachers and students so concepts are only memorized for examinations purpose. The study also showed that EE in secondary schools-in the country is not taught or learnt adequately due to constraints within the formal education system. Thus, the findings are generally synthesized into a set of recommendations especially for teacher education in EE. These recommendations could serve as guidelines for planning and implementing teacher education programme in Environmental Education. Following the findings of this study, it is therefore recommended that teachers who provide knowledge concerning environmental issues have to be trained so as to make them more conversant with these issues. Also it is suggested that Environmental Education should be taught in secondary schools as an independent and compulsory subject at least up to Form Four to enable these students get the necessary knowledge on environment. This knowledge is essential in order to increase their level of awareness on environmental issues which in turn will build their participation in preserving and conserving the environment.
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Tanzania, Environmental education, Education, Secondary, Environmental degradation
Lyimo-Saria, W. A. J. (1999) A study on the level of environmental awareness among students in mainland Tanzania: the case of four secondary schools in Dodoma urban and Kinondoni district, Masters’ dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (