What is the Meaning of Environmental Education?
The environment, itself, is a kind of teacher. Through the medium of consequences the environment teaches man that by disturbing the balance in the environment he harms himself. Through environmental education an attempt is made to help a student to adjust himself with the environment.
In other words, the student is taught about the methods of acquiring the desirable control over his environment. When a child sees a monkey and expresses curiosity about it, then to explain the relevant aspects about it is to give him education through a unit of the environment.
We often learn many new things every day. This is necessary for our mental satisfaction. An individual is born in a particular environment and he learns several things in the same from infancy to his old age.
As a result of interaction with his natural and social environment the personality of an individual is formed. For making himself prosperous and happy an individual comes into contract with the various units of society; such as —bank, court, post office, police station, hospital, railway station, village council (PANCHAYAT), school, college, university and municipal and district boards etc.
If an individual does not know about these units of society—, his life will become difficult, similarly, he should know various things about his natural environment. An individual should know from where such food commodities as wheat, rice, potato, mango and other things are procured. He should also know the kind of soil in which such things grow.
He should also understand how environment is helpful for his health. To give education about these things according to the stage of development is an essential aspect of environmental education.
To-day we are finding revolutionary changes in our environment. Population explosion has very much disturbed the balance of our social environment. This explosion has taken place alarmingly during the last 50 years.
So we find huge crowds at all social places like markets, railway or roadways bus stations, courts, police stations, hospitals, government and municipal board offices, schools, colleges, universities and similar other places.
One has to devote hours for a work which could have been done within 5 minutes or so. For railway reservation one has to stand for hours in a row. Railway trains and buses are overcrowded beyond measure. In all types of schools, colleges and universities crowds of students are seen standing seeking admission or for any other important work.
For one single post more than 200 persons become aspirants Banks have become so much over crowded that the officials get awfully fatigued in meeting the demands of customers who, too, have to wait for hours.
For obtaining L.P.G. cylinders one has to wait for long because of the huge crowd he has to be in. This population explosion has terribly disturbed the balance of our social fabric. The current industrialization has posed some continual problems like itching in leprosy.
Various types of industries have polluted drinking water, air, rivers, fields and nearby human inhabitances. Mills and factories have polluted our atmosphere with their never-ending smoke and other refuge.
Now we have to find out those devices with which we may help us preserve our natural and social environment. To impart information’s about these devices is the main aspect of environmental education.