Evaluation of the Enviromental Education Youth Club Programme implemented within North-West Province, South Africa
Nemutandani, Mashudu Lucky
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The North West Province Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development has been implementing the environmental education programme for the past 10 years. As part of monitoring and evaluation, a need was identified to evaluate the programme. Hence, the current primary research problem is to investigate the impact of the EE youth club programme as a performance measure of achieving selected environmental education targets for meeting departmental strategic objectives. In order to carry out this research, a qualitative and quantitative research method was used. The survey population was drawn from four district municipalities of the North West Province. The questionnaire was used to determine the impact of environmental education on attitude towards the environment and to find out the concerns task ranking order of participants as a measure of achieving strategic objectives. The questionnaires were administered to 431 environmental education beneficiaries and 3 departmental officials. Furthermore, the analysis of five years of departmental annual reports was done to complement the findings. Independent T-test and one-way Analysis of Variance was used to test significant difference. The findings revealed a comparatively high mean score (Mean 49.93, St. Deviation = 6.98) attitude towards the environment by environmental education beneficiaries. The overall mean attitude (Mean = 2.85, and St. Deviation = 0.36) towards the environment was slightly lower compared to post-exposure results from other studies. No significant difference in mean attitude toward the environment as a result of gender and age groups was found. However, a statistical significant difference was found as a result of residential district municipality, with youth from Dr Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality (Mean = 1.99, St. Deviation = 0.993) and Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality (Mean = 2.52, St. Deviation = 1.253) having a significantly lower attitude towards the environment compared to those from Bojanala Platinum District Municipality (Mean =2.59, St. Deviation = 1.180) and Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality (Mean = 2.69, St. Deviation = 1.163) Similar to other studies, environmental concern was ranked highly with school performance. No significant difference was found in concerns task ranking order as result of gender and only a slightly significant difference was found in ranking order as a result of age groups with younger youth showing a higher concern. As expected there was a slight significant difference in ranking order as a result of residential district municipalities. Over the past years there has been a trends of over-achieving on selected environmental education targets. In conclusion the current study has successfully prove that EE youth club programme is achieving departmental strategic objectives. However, development of a comprehensive environmental education programme strategy, strategically planned pre- and post-exposure and follow-up activities targeting participants as a way to reinforce and establish longer-term changes in behaviour, and sound monitoring and evaluation tools is recommended.