GB No. 3(18)/95
The Clean Vistula programme is the first Polish educational programme to use the results of school monitoring of the natural environment in teaching. The purposes of the project are to spur the society into action around the idea of eco-development, to teach the principles of the proper use of natural resources, and to collect data on the condition of the biggest Polish river's catchment area. Over 2000 young people participate in the undertaking, from 5 schools located in 28 communes all along the Vistula catchment area.
The programme is based upon the principles developed by UNICEF for another programme called Education for the Sake of Development.
It is assumed in both of them that the improvement of the current state of affairs cannot be achieved if one remains passive. The 21st century will require from each individual the ability to act reasonably, to create their own development concepts and to think in general terms. It is considered the basic task of education in the late 20th century to teach young people how to create and carry out the ideas of eco-development.
The implementation of The Clean Vistula Programme has been divided into four stages:
The task of the environment monitoring included in the programme is mainly educational. Thus, the monitoring is considered an educational instrument. The system of environmental measuring is to enable the youth to evaluate the current state of affairs by themselves.
And the analysis of the results is to reveal and explain the changes which take place in the biosphere as a result of man's activities. It should also prove helpful in drawing up forecasts and creating the concept of eco-development.
The study of the environment will be carried out in all the schools by means of unified methodology. In waters monitoring it is correlated, as regards parameters, with the State monitoring and the GREEN project. The organisers of the programme hope that the obtained results will provide an interesting, independent source of information on the condition of the natural environment.
The school monitoring of natural environment comprises the following:
The wide range of the study is to make the youth aware of the mutual relations between the individual elements of nature, such as water, air, and soil, as well as of the way the toxic substances circulate in the biosphere. The schools are provided with simple water-monitoring equipment and computers with programs for data analysis.
The programme will involve the exchange of experiences between school and, if possible, foreign exchange with schools which also carry out environmental monitoring. In addition, the project foresees seminars and meetings for the local authorities on the role of education in the realisation of the environmental policy in communes. Promotion of technologies and new solutions for the ecological investment projects is foreseen during these seminars, as in Poland the funds for environmental investments are still not fully used. Exchange of foreign experiences is foreseen also in this respect.
Up to now the schools have been provided with equipment and computers of the total value PLZ 2.2 billion; the school libraries have been provided with books of the value PLZ 150 million; 200 teachers have been trained; syllabus instructions have been delivered. On then 20th of September, 1994 the monitoring of the natural environment was started. From 16th to 22nd January 1995 a seminar will be held for village chief officers governors who participate in the project.
The scope of The Clean Vistula Programme has gone far beyond what the organisers originally expected. The number of the participating students has almost doubled. As a result, some difficulties have arisen as regards the provision of schools and the organisation of the seminars for the students. We invite institutions and ecological organisations to the participation in the programme.
We would like to announce that the nearest meeting of the Programme Council, attended by Mr Stanisław Żelichowski, the Minister of the Natural Environment Protection, will be held on 2nd December 1994 at the Ministry of the Natural Environment Protection.
Fundacja Centrum Edukacji Ekologicznej Wsi
for Environmental Village Education Foundation
ul. Lewakowskiego 14, 38-400 Krosno
P.O. Box 159
Phone: (0-131) 21906, 25790
Bank account: BDK o/Krosno 333603-79383-132