The education department’s schools division offices in Puerto Princesa and Palawan are partnering with the Katala Foundation, Inc. (KFI) to bring wildlife protection and conservation awareness into the classrooms to early grade learners about its importance.
KFI and the city’s and province’s Schools Division Offices (SDOs) signed an agreement on Tuesday, February 21, to formalize this collaboration, with the ultimate goal of fully integrating it into the local curriculum.
Dr. Loida Adornado, OIC Schools Division Superintendent of DepEd Puerto Princesa, a representative from SDO-Palawan, KFI Chief Executive Officer Indira Dayang Widmann, and Dr. Sabine Schoppe of the Palawan Freshwater Turtle Conservation Program and Palawan Pangolin Conservation Program of KFI signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU).
Under the MOU, KFI will provide Palawan Wildlife Alphabet (PWA) posters featuring letters of the English alphabet with samples of the province’s endemic flora and fauna, as well as action slogans for each letter, to Grade 1 classes in all schools.
In addition, Katala Foundation will offer virtual training modules and lectures on how teachers should utilize the posters.
Schoppe said that they had planned to disseminate the posters in 2019, but it was put on hold when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the next year.
She also highlighted the importance of PWA posters in educating today’s youth about native flora and fauna.
“I want to highlight the Palawan Wildlife Alphabet which is the heart of this MOU because we realize that in education where most posters that children see feature apple for A, elephant for E and tiger for T but we all know that these cannot be found in the Philippines,” Schoppe noted.
“So since we are working on wildlife conservation, why don’t we make posters where we can feature wildlife which are endemic in Palawan,” she added.
Schoppe also mentioned that KFI want a partnership with DepEd so that they could reach a larger audience.
“We, at KFI, really can’t do it alone so we need your partnership,” she told the SDOs during the agreement signing.
Widmann added that awareness of Palawan’s endemic wildlife will expand as an outcome of the partnership.
“Conservation education is important that’s why we also need spread correct and appropriate information with education that starts at an early stage,” she said.
Adornado, meanwhile, expressed confidence in the program and urged that posters be localized for greater youth comprehension.
“While we have these in pictures, all of these are in English so it would be much better if we come up with local terms for the endemic animals with the corresponding principles that we have to abide with, like act locally, think locally among others,” she said.
She said the wildlife alphabet will complement the integration of biodiversity conservation in the basic education curriculum.