05 • 08 • 2009

Teachers Assemble for a Further Education Course on Forest























Over the closing days of July, a teachers’ further education course took place in “Ezernieki” Travel Centre for the first time providing an opportunity for teachers to acquire the further education program “Implementation of a comprehensive, cognition, independence and creativity enhancing education process in elementary education on the forest, values of forest and environmental issues” coordinated with the Ministry of Education.

Within the education program “Get to the back of Forest” the course was organized by AS "Latvijas valsts meži" in cooperation with Ogre Forest Technical School and Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia. Supporter: Latvia Environment Protection Fund. 40 teachers having demonstrated active participation in Mammadaba Masterclass over the pervious school year, were given the opportunity to benefit from this course. Over three days of practical workshop and theoretical training they gained knowledge on most up-to-date forest environment education methods and opportunity to exchange expertise on both, local and international level practical work of the forest environment education, gaining awareness on the multilateral cooperation avenues between the forest industry and schools.  

“I learned a lot on what is going on in Latvia in connection with forest. I feel myself a more well-read person now! I also got to know many interesting people. It’s a long time since I last attended such a well-planned and excellently organized course. It is very motivating for  my future work,” Iveta Zēvalde, the teacher of Riga Private Secondary School “Klasika” is all smiles.

Mārīte Rulle from Remte Elementary School thinks that she has mastered specific activities allowing her to work on the subject of forest also during the classes of Latvian language and literature. Daina Briede, the teacher of Bērzaune Elementary School, says that the concept "course" means many more things to her now than it did before.

Tomass Kotovičs, Head of LVM Communication Division AS “Latvijas valsts meži” emphasizes: “Just teachers  are those moderators of love and understanding of forest who can transfer these qualities to the younger generation, therefore, constructing the course program, it was very important to include  in it all aspects of the forest environment education, providing wider opportunities for teachers both, to share their own experience and listen to competent and proficient lecturers, combining the theoretical training with interactive practical workshops in a genuine environment: the forest”.

The lecturers included experts from Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Agriculture, Faculty of forestry, LAU, Ogre Forestry Technical School, AS "Latvijas valsts meži", Latvian Forest Industry Federation, Latvian State Forest Research Institute “Silava” and SIA "Stora Enso-mežs", State Forestry Service as well as Swedish Schools of Nature. It is envisaged to run a similar course also the next year, inviting the rest of teachers participating Mammadaba Masterclass.

Within the Program “Get to the back of Forest”, Mammadaba Masterclass is organized every year by AS "Latvijas valsts meži". Its main cooperation partner is Education Substance and Examinations Centre of MES. This program in Latvia is set up in conformity with the program of International Environment Education Fund  “Learning about Forest”, which since 1997 has been inactivated in 15 countries of the world. On annual basis, AS "Latvijas valsts meži" offers to schools training and methodical materials, competitions Mammadaba Masterclass and Forest Contest, forest environment education tours, as well as summer camps and courses.