Invasive species in the seas were told to primary and secondary school students

Within the scope of the project initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks (DKMP) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Turkey in May last year with the contributions of the Teacher Academy Foundation (ÖRAV), the trained teachers shared their knowledge with the students. Thanks to his studies and projects, students gained knowledge in many areas such as biodiversity, marine ecosystem, first aid training in case of contact with invasive alien species.

The part of the project, which was started in Hatay Samandağ, Kırklareli İğneada and Balıkesir’s Marmara Island and Ayvalık district, could not be completed due to the 6 February earthquakes.

Sharing the details of the project with AA correspondent, UNDP Turkey “Combating Marine Invasive Alien Species Project” Manager and Environmental Engineer Mehmet Golu said that their main goal is to protect the marine ecosystem by combating marine invasive alien species.

“One of our most important components is to increase the capacity and awareness on this issue, we are working on this and fishermen, divers, sea carriers and aquarists are among our target audiences. Teachers have the most important place among them, we aimed to reach children and students with them within the scope of our project.” said.

Noting that they started their main project, “The Project for Combating Marine Invasive Alien Species” in 2018, and the project for the teachers involved in it in 2022, shadow said, “We started with a small study in a school in Keçiören, Ankara in May 2022. Before that, our expert trainers. They prepared the relevant materials and documents, and then they started to be implemented in the pilot regions. Our goal is to contribute to primary and secondary school teachers about the marine ecosystem and include them in their curriculum.” he said.

Invasive species in the seas were told to primary and secondary school students

The education process in Hatay will start in October

ÖRAV Projects and Corporate Business Development Manager Başak Karayiğit stated that within the scope of the project, 138 teachers have been given distance education so far, and thus 4,140 students have been reached, and that they aim to reach 300 teachers and 9 thousand students by completing the part that could not be completed in Hatay due to the earthquake.

Karayiğit stated that the training process in Hatay will start in October and the project will be completed by the end of 2023.

The training program lasts 2 months.

ÖRAV expert trainer Dinçer Demir stated that after determining the teachers in the pilot regions, the training program lasted for a total of 2 months during the academic year.

Explaining that they brought 11 different tasks together with the students through teachers during the 5-day training for awareness of marine invasive alien species, Demir emphasized that the students developed projects in which they shared what they learned with their families and other stakeholders in the society.

“We also supported an understanding that everyone can learn from each other”

Dinçer Demir gave the following information about the content of the trainings:

“First of all, they learned the concept of biodiversity, then what are the native species and invasive alien species, how the invasive species came, and the problems they cause. We explained the preventive studies and why the problem occurred, the possible risks in terms of health, and the measures that can be taken on an individual basis. We presented a holistic content by raising awareness about what to do as first aid when they come in contact with a fish or jellyfish. From an educator’s point of view, not only the protection of the seas, but also the change in the learning culture, not only from the big to the small, but also from the small to the big, an understanding that everyone can learn from each other. We supported it.”

Invasive species in the seas were told to primary and secondary school students

Demir stated that they have recently produced a digital game and that the achievements they aim for within the scope of the project will become permanent in children with this digital game.

ÖRAV expert trainer Gonca Ertürk drew attention to the importance of first aid practices and said, “Children in the pilot regions we visit are already encountering these species. For example, since jellyfish have too much poison in their tentacles, children learn about practices that are known and wrong among the public, and what to do and what not to do. They learn how to apply first aid when something happens to a friend or relative. This is also very important and information for them.” made its assessment.

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