YEREVAN–The Regional Environmental Center for the Caucasus hosted the official release last week of Armenia Tree Project’s new environmental education curriculum–"Plant an Idea–Plant a Tree." The curriculum was developed last year by Armenia Tree Project (ATP) in collaboration with Dr. Karla Wesley.
The curriculum was recently approved as a teacher’s manual for use in public schools all over Armenia by the Ministry of Education and Science. In addition to Dr. Wesley and ATP Environmental Education Program Manager Gayane Ghukasyan–many others who contributed to the development of the publication were present–including Luba Balyan of the Birds of Armenia NGO and Sirvard Mamikonyan of the USDA’s Center for Agribusiness and Rural Development.
The event was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Education–Yerevan State University–World Wildlife Fund–and other NGOs–as well as teachers and principals from various schools. The Royal Netherlands Embassy funded the printing of the curriculum for each school in Armenia–and many of the guests were interested in obtaining additional copies from ATP.
Dr. Gayane Ghukasyan welcomed the participants and announced that 1,450 schools in Armenia will receive the book for use in its environmental education program. She explained that ATP has already established cooperation with 13 schools–which are using the publication in their youth clubs.
Karen Melkonyan–head of the curriculum evaluation department of the Ministry of Education expressed his appreciation for the interactive methods in the curriculum–and recommended it to all schools in Armenia. "One of the advantages of this publication is the new teaching methods suggested–which create better and long lasting understanding," stated Dr. Melkonyan. "The author has studied Armenian culture and nature–which is very gratifying–and used it as examples in the curriculum."
"Armenian culture at its best reveals the relationship between human being and nature. That is why children of Armenia’should not forget about the magnificent culture they inherited to preserve and be proud of," replied Dr. Wesley in her remarks. "This publication presents very informative and useful material that can be used by all educators dealing with scientific subjects in schools throughout Armenia," stated Anahit Bakhshyan–the principal of School No. 27–who also commended ATP and the creators of the curriculum.
An electronic version of ATP’s environmental education curriculum is available in English and Armenian at the following link: armeniatree.org/whatwedo/eea.htm.