In order to ignite a spark of passion for nature within the new generation, RSCN began to introduce young people to environmental concepts in schools through series of lectures and activities. Environmental concepts were also slowly introduced into the national curriculum (link to curriculum page), introducing students to environmental issues of great concern, such as water conservation, resource management, and biodiversity, among others. To amplify students’ knowledge and understanding of these concepts, RSCN began developing interactive programs to deliver environmental education in a practical and exciting manner, drawing students out of their classrooms and into nature; aiming to create vested future advocates and supporters of conservation in the reserves.
Fun is the major ingredient used to stimulate students; combining entertainment, education, and fieldwork to relay the importance of nature conservation. Different environmental education programs are specially tailored and designed to highlight the unique biodiversity and wildlife in each reserve. The first stage of program development involves assessments of area surveys and project studies that are related to the conservation of each individual area, including status of biodiversity, reasons for establishing the site as a Protected Area, and existing threats, taking into account all the necessary information and relevant numbers.
Afterwards, a KAB Assessment study an is done for students, measuring their Knowledge, Attitude and Behavior, drawing a comparison between local students from the reserve area and students around the Kingdom, as well as those students that are members of Nature Conservation Clubs (NCC) and those that are not. Program developers then research and assess environmental concepts existing in the curriculum and the methods in which these concepts are taught, whether as skills, knowledge, or applicable behavior.
Based on the results of their studies, an interactive environmental education program is developed that serves conservation efforts through encouraging students to gain new attitudes, knowledge and behaviors that close the gaps which are discovered throughout the process. Concepts learned in school were evolved to include all the aspects of a student’s life, aiming to teach them how these concepts may be applied at home in his/her daily life.
RSCNs network of over 1000 Nature Conservation Clubs (NCC) proved to be the perfect vehicle for utilizing these education programs at the reserves, which are implemented in coordination with the Ministry of Education. For every school term, a complete study timetable is created for the students. On certain days, schools from each governorate visit a certain reserve, based on the closest reserve the school is located near, although this does not necessarily restrict schools. The schedule is created based on the number of NCCs, allowing all clubs to visit reserve throughout the year.
Throughout the school year, club coordinators give lectures and hold activities t at the schools to NCC students, preparing them for their visit to the reserve. Educational officers from the reserves also make visits to individual school’s NCCs to help prepare students and teachers through awareness programs, covering different aspects of understanding and pure knowledge, to enable the students to competently engage in practical work while in the field; arming students with the proper knowledge to engage in an interactive and aware manner upon visiting the reserve.