The Water Literacy workshop prepares students to understand, participate and disseminate information to bring about positive environmental changes on a personal level.
To thrive in this innovation driven economy, people need a different mix of skills than in the past. In addition to foundation skills like literacy and numeracy, they need competencies like collaboration, creativity and problem-solving and character qualities like persistence, curiosity and initiative.
For two months, we organized a water camp for a group of students of a Bengaluru school to provide practical knowledge and skill development toward collectively managing their water resources. Conceptually, this builds on the theory that knowledge and techniques can be disseminated through young people to their parents and community. The camp engages young participants aged 10-15 years old for up to three to four hours each day in a variety of hands-on activities to practically understand and address water issues in their area of habitation.
In India three major categories of people were found:
- those who want access to information and can bring about change
- those who want development and respond well to information
- those who are not interested in the nation’s affairs
People who have little interest in the country’s affairs comprise the largest segment of the population of the nation due to the changing economic pattern of the country.
Only a few people held a positive perception towards collective work for the betterment of all and this group of people can be targeted with more information and training since they can impress upon their age group more action-based knowledge.
This camp is designed with the objective of being the starting point for young people to master skills and become productive members of society living in a rapidly changing environment.
After having successfully conducted the camp for two months, we observed that the students are now able to:
- Articulate the importance of water in their daily lives
- Understand that access to water and sanitation are human rights
- Understand the world’s water crisis
- Describe their own groundwater situation – availability, quality and quantity
- Provide examples of how they can influence long-term sustainable water use in household (water conservation)
- Provide examples of how they can collectively influence long-term water resource management in their habitation
- Build cognitive skills like decision making, critical and creative thinking, and problem solving
- Develop academic, social and self management skills
The students prepared charts and presentations on what they learned as well as practical methods to implement this learning into their day-to-day lives.
Based on the feedback of teachers and parents, the Water Literacy workshop increased the engagement of young people in recognizing the world’s current water situation and how they can take collective action to improve water quality and quantity to benefit everyone in their areas of habitation.