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Production & Distribution of Educational Materials

Developing human capital to promote conservation and sustainable development must be more than just providing educational scholarships to select recipients. All primary school students and teachers deserve the basic materials to improve the quality of educational delivery to all students. Primary schools in the Río Plátano area face scarcities in basic school supplies and didactic materials. Our goal is to support and improve educational delivery and performance through the development, dissemination and training in didactic materials. ECOS Río Plátano will work with local teachers, the school district, community organizations and governmental agencies to identify priority needs and provide support for these individuals to develop materials and approaches suitable for the diversity of learning needs, languages and cultures in the Río Plátano area.

For example, teachers in the region recently completed and published “The Environmental Educational Plan for the Río Plátano Man and the Biosphere Reserve” a teachers guide to the reserve in collaboration with Peace Corps and MOPAWI. This product provides the first comprehensive guide to environmental education within the reserve and serves as a pilot project. There is currently a need to evaluate and revise this teachers’ guide. ECOS Río Plátano will support an effort in 2004 to bring teachers together to work on this revision, develop training modules for teachers in the region and assess teaching supplies necessary to fully implement the manual in all primary classrooms in the reserve.

ECOS Río Plátano also intends to implement a reserve-wide art and poetry competition with primary school students. In past years this activity catalyzed students and teachers to utilize creative skills to reflect upon the relationship between humans and natural resources. This activity requires minimal financial investments (paper, pens, prizes for individuals and classrooms) but provides a powerful learning experience for students. The primary obstacle to making this an annual activity has been the lack of financial support. ECOS Río Plátano will provide support for this activity during the 2004 Natural Resources Week.


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Job Placement for Scholarship Graduates

At the end of the 2005 school year, two ECOS Río Plátano scholarship students will graduate from teacher training high schools (“Escuela Normal”). The school district superintendent has pledged to support these graduates by placing them in their home community of Las Marias given they satisfactorily pass the national teachers board exams. ECOS Río Plátano will work with the superintendent to assure that these teachers find positions within their home school and bring a renewed commitment to quality education in Las Marias.

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In-Service Teacher Training

Honduran primary and secondary teachers are required to attend in-service teacher training annually. However, due to limited governmental resources, these activities are rarely implemented. Past in-service teacher training has included implementation of the Ministry of Education’s “Environmental Education INTEGRE” and the “Manual for Primary School Environmental Education”. With the recent publication of the teacher developed environmental education teachers guide, there is a need to provide quality training opportunities where teachers can share, innovate, learn, and motivate one another to improve the educational delivery in these remote schools, further integrate environmental education within the curriculum, and engage students with active learning projects that provide community service, and promote conservation and sustainable development. ECOS Río Plátano will support two teacher training workshop in the 2004 school year, one in the northern and one in the southern zone of the Reserve.

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ECOS-Río Plátano
PO Box 16020, Bellemont, AZ 86015, USA
E-mail ECOS-Río Plátano