Greening Ghanaian Schools

More than 3 years ago, with only GhC 1280, and the priceless help of students and staff from Nkwantanang JHS, and a group of amazing contributors and volunteers, we built a playground and inserted much needed greenery in the Nkwantanang School compound.

A year ago, we upped the ante with a beautiful injection of greenery in the Omanjor D/A School compound.

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In the spirit of those projects, and with the lessons we have learned we intend to deliver great outdoor environments in schools at minimal cost to augment indoor learning spaces and improve the general school experience. Using design as a tool, our plan is to create safe, accessible, convenient and enjoyable natural environments in urban schools in Ghana.

WHY?

It is in schools that our minds and outlooks are shaped. They present a great opportunity for transferring the habits and attitudes we want to see in a future generation. The deplorable “desert-like” school environments that currently prevail are detrimental to children and to the future of our country and the planet as a whole.

Re-establishing the human connection with nature is one of the best ways of halting and reversing the destruction of the environment. This needs to start with children. Introducing children to well-designed, biologically diverse environments has several benefits:

  1. Imagine a future where the people at the helm of affairs are lovers or at least appreciators of nature! They would appreciate more, the need to actively take steps that halt the current rate of environmental degradation.
  2.  Time spent around nature or in natural environments can induce greater levels of intelligence and good health.
  3.  Natural environments in schools provide teachers good teaching material. For example science teachers can take advantage of natural environments, to deliver lessons in Integrated Science. This makes lessons more immersive, practical and enjoyable.
  4. Our cities are growing fast and as result, natural habitats are disappearing even faster, due to competing commercial interests. School compounds provide great opportunities to replenish lost urban biodiversity.
  5. Several schools in cities are exposed to high and unacceptable levels of noise. These are unhealthy and affect children in the long run. Landscape strategies can be used to create buffer zones to reduce drastically, noise levels in these schools.
  6. Overall, the introduction of plants in particular and biodiversity, will not only improve school environments, but also performance of students, how muchthey enjoy school and potentially reduce levels of absenteeism in both teachers and students.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

For starters, keep an eye out for opportunities to volunteer when we start building and planting. We do so much with so little because of you. Follow our website, blog and social media pages as usual. To contribute, to partner with us or for any other questions contact us at sociarchi(at)gmail(dot)com.

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