Apparently persuaded by the ongoing global campaign against fossil fuel, the Diri administration has started to reposition Bayelsa State economy on the path of survival in a post-petroleum era.
An administration insider said from Yenagoa, the state capital that government has started to look in the direction of tourism and the blue economy.
Environmental rights advocacy activists around the world have been pushing for a bold and immediate action to address the climate emergency.
The main cause of the climate emergency, according to them, is fossil fuels. One of them, Nnimmo Bassey of Nigeria who is the Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), said that coal, oil and gas, according to reports available to them, ‘’are responsible for 86% of all carbon dioxide emissions in the past decade.’’
According to Bassey, ‘’phasing out fossil fuel production, and fast-tracking progress towards safer and more cost-effective alternatives, will require unprecedented international cooperation in three main areas – non-proliferation, global disarmament and a peaceful, just transition.’’
However, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa on Tourism, Piriye Kiyaramo, has confirmed that his office is working out plans on how to make the state one of the major tourism destinations in the world.
To this end, head teachers and principals are being encouraged to incorporate tourism related educational activities in their extra-curricular programmes.
The logic of the Bayelsa State Government is that children who play and learn in outdoor environments appear to be more active, motivated and purposeful in their academic pursuits.
This development emerged when Kiyaramo visited the proprietress of Janice -Light International Schools (Montessori) in Azikoro Town in Yenagoa Local Government Area to launch “Bayelsa Kids In Tourism Initiative.”
‘Research has shown that outdoor learning can have huge benefits on a child’s mental health as well as academic performance’’, the governor’s aide said, pointing out that outdoor educational activities such as excursions and gardening among others help to build a sense of community in children and develop positive feelings in them.
He has lamented the poor attention given to kids in the tourism industry, noting that engaging children in outdoor recreational and conservation educational activities enhances positive attitudes, adding that learning outdoors improves the academic performance, health, and childhood development, reiterating that outdoor conservation educational programmes can instill a sense of civic responsibility and empathy in kids, as well as helping them to build ties within the community.
“Outdoor educational activities also help kids to imbibe such qualities as sportsmanship, teamwork and make them to easily associate with their peers. Going outside the school environment for excursions is fun. Introducing children to cartography and earth observation systems is one way to develop their spatial thinking skills which will give them an important edge for years to come’’, he said.
Proprietress of the school, Dr. Janet Y. Ekpefa-Abdullahi, in her response said her school runs creche, nursery, primary and secondary classes, saying that every child is given equal attention, while offering quality education at affordable cost.