Influence of Biology Education on the Use of Wetland Resources by School Leavers in Uganda: A Case of Pece Wetland, Gulu District
Sarah, K. Odong Ojokit
MetadataShow full item record
This study was prompted by the increasing news and reports of degradation of the environment and over exploitation of natural resources from natural habitats. The over-exploitation goes on amidst the fact that biology, as a science subject where issues to deal with nature use, has been taught for many years. The purpose of this study was therefore to assess the influence of biology education on the use of wetland resources using Pece wetland, a natural habitat in Gulu district. To achieve this purpose, the study sought to investigate what was learnt in biology lessons at school and what was being applied by school leavers in the use of wetland resources. This study focused on applied knowledge from biology education; conservation skills practiced and identified, and other sources of knowledge outside school. The study was both quantitative and qualitative, guided by a cross sectional survey design, involving 54 school leavers, five local council leaders, three environment officers with four field workers and 13 local community resident in Pece wetland alongside four teachers and one curriculum biology subject specialist. Data was collected using a self-administered questionnaire and interview guide so as to assess and establish the influence of biology education after school and the use of wetland resources. Data was analyzed and variables tested for significances using the chi-square test. Themes were determined to describe patterns observed and discussed. The findings revealed that the knowledge from biology education learnt from secondary schools had no significant influence on the use of wetland resources after school. There was no significance influence between employment sector and the level to protect and conserve the wetland resources. Furthermore, water resource from the wetland was used most by just an average number of residents. There was another source of water which most residents used, while papyrus /grass/reeds was the least used wetland resource. Conservation skills were most learnt at school followed by the informal education by the family or community source but the application levels varied. Biology education hence does not adequately contribute to gain of skills and expression of values, although some people who have completed tertiary institutions applied some of the skills and values gained. In view of the above findings, the study recommended an enhanced teaching-learning approach with field work to make learners acquire knowledge, skills and values and apply them on use of wetland resources to make biology education more effective and influential. Environmental values should be emphasized in every topic of biology, during teacher education pre-service and in-service trainings. Teaching of environmental literacy should be promoted as a practical aspect. Pece wetland in Gulu district should be gazetted as an environment education centre for the promotion of practical conservation knowledge, skills and values for sustainable use. Further research to be carried out on sustainable wetland use by fish farming projects and human populations as a biological resource in conservations.