Contributions of conservation education centres towards creating environmental awareness
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The overall purpose of the study was to evaluate the contributions of UWEC in promoting environmental and conservation awareness among Pupils in Entebbe Municipality. Schools that have gone through UWEC’s education programmes were called ‘Trained schools’ while those which had not yet benefited from UWEC’s programmes between 2013 to 2017 were called ‘Untrained schools’. A total of 12 primary schools out of 40 schools in Entebbe Municipality were sampled. Only students of 10 years above constituted the sample population. The results of this study have revealed the need to refocus the environmental education and awareness programmes towards creating more awareness about the value, among pupils, of biodiversity conservation. A descriptive survey design was adopted targeting Primary pupils in Primary schools in Entebbe Municipality. Purposive sampling was used to select ‘Trained Schools’ while simple random sampling was used to select ‘Untrained schools’. Lottery method was used to select respondents. 106 respondents participated in the study; 50 ‘Trained’ ones and 56 ‘Untrained ones’. The level of awareness was measured basing on the Conservation Awareness Model (CAM), (Fig 3.1) that was developed. The respondents’ attitudes were measured on a five point Likert Scale ranging from strongly agree (1) poor to (5) excellent (Rensis likert, 1932; Jamiesons, 2002; Alim, 2010). This generated an ordinal scale data which was used in statistical analysis, after transformation, to understand the impact of environmental education on the pupils. Results were presented by use of tables and bar graphs. Results show that the EE and Awareness programmes offered at UWEC increase the environmental awareness level of recipients; Generally, majority of trained pupils had higher level of awareness (Table 4.10 and Table 4.11) basing on the CAM model which was developed. Classification ability and knowledge of cause of environmental problems ie 82% and 80.5% respectively and Minority (17.9%) of untrained pupils were able to correctly classify the animal. The findings revealed that there was significant difference in Conservation Awareness level between ‘Trained’ and ‘Untrained’ respondents, at 95% confidence interval, ANOVA statistics, as shown by the F value of 3.544 and P value of 0.0032 in Table 4.11, hence the null hypothesis was rejected. This means that the trained pupils had more conservation knowledge than untrained ones. By implication, these findings show that the environmental education and awareness programmes offered at UWEC impart sustainable environmental conservation knowledge.