Schools and Education Program
Kileva Eastfield Primary School in Mwakoma village opened its doors in 2008. A walking distance from the Elephants and Bees Research Center, the school now has over 110 students from pre-primary to class 8. The first Environmental and Conservation Education curriculum for the school was created in 2017 as part of Save The Elephant’s goal to secure a future for elephants and promote our delight in their intelligence. With some help from STE’s Samburu education team and their syllabus Living in Harmony With Elephants, our project officer Kennedy Leneuyia developed the course for students in the upper classes (7 and 8).
Overall, the course aims to create Wildlife Ambassadors and strengthen co-existence between the community, wildlife and the landscape in which they exist.
The objectives of the curriculum include graduating students who:
- Are knowledgable about the importance of taking care of our natural world
- Appreciate their environment
- Are well-informed and able to identify different species’ roles in achieving a balanced ecosystem
- Can reinforce beehive fence use and other techniques to deter elephants from raiding crops.
Three themes are taught over the course of a school year. The first is The role of animals in the savannah ecosystem. This focuses on their importance and interrelationships. Additionally, it builds an understanding of elephant behaviour and adaptations to their environments.
The second is Threats to elephants and the savannah ecosystem (save the savannah) and the third is Mitigation measures (conservation and what you can do). This encourages sustainable solutions to peaceful co-existence.
Pre- and post-lesson assessments were used to evaluate the impact of this conservation education on the students. Our questions included: “Do you think bees are important to the ecosystem?”, “Do elephants live in caring family groups?” and “Are beehive fences an effective deterrent against elephants?”
Before receiving the lessons the answers to these questions were negative. On the post-lesson evaluation however, the students showed a clear shift in attitude with their positive responses.
Each year, the project sponsors two field trips to complement lessons learned in the classroom. Additionally, we formed a Wildlife Club and screen environmental films every Friday – a highlight for many students!
Students who are environmentally conscious can establish healthy ecosystems and sustainable communities.
“We must show them that wildlife is important. If not, then what are we doing?” – Kennedy