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NMSTU Environmental Courses are the Best!!

At the beginning of this month, the Belarusian cities of Minsk and Pinsk saw the next coordination meeting of the TEMPUS EcoBRU project in Environmental Education for Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. As part of the project, six NMSTU teaching staff, who are the leading representatives of the Russian environmental school, have been working on elaboration of environmental courses led by the school coordinator, the professor of the NMSTU Department of Industrial Transport Mr. A. Rakhmangulov.

It was a pre-final meeting on the project aimed at elaboration of retraining courses for school and college teachers in environmental education. Researchers from 25 universities and organizations in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus presented near-final results of their project work. The strategic goal of the project is to promote environmental awareness among children.

The range of foreign participants of the project includes universities in Germany (Bremen and Paderborn), Slovakia (Žilina), Czech Republic (Brno), and Latvia (Riga). 

“We have elaborated three courses for school teachers and another three courses for college teachers on various subjects, including geography, solid waste recycling, resource conservation, evaluation of environmental impact, water protection, economic assessment of the environmental situation of a region,” says Mr. Rakhmangulov. “They are not just stand-alone courses bur they rather make a system. One can take separate courses or one can study all of them and get an extensive knowledge about environment. This was marked by the project leadership as one of the advantages of our courses. In fact, the NMSTU environmental courses were recognized as the best development under the project. A special mention was made of a solid scientific basis of the courses, extensive and original visual materials, the use of up-to-date literature and latest advancements in environmental sphere.”

“Currently we are working on implementing the new courses as a Moodle-based e-learning solution. And this September we are expecting to launch our e-learning project called Horizon. One retraining course is 36 hours. Correspondingly, the set of three courses designed for school and college teachers shall include 108 hours.”

“Our Belarusian counterparts gave us a very warm welcome. The educational institutions in Belarus get a substantial support in terms of infrastructure. We could see that when we visited the Polessky State University. Established only 10 years ago, the university comprises three faculties with only 7,000 students currently enrolled. At the same time, it has its own rowing facility, an enclosed stadium, a swimming pool, and an ice arena. This is a great example of how much they appreciate the higher education in Belarus, including the environmental education, physical training and a healthy living in general. All the places we visited were kept in a perfect order showing a high level of environmental awareness. Belarusians are taking great efforts to safeguard their heritage and attract tourists.”

Interview by Inessa Kim

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