The Centre for Neighbourhood Studies (CENS) PH conducted a three-day geoscience training for teachers in Candijay, the first to be conducted in Visayas.

Held from August 4 to 6, at the Candijay Central Elementary School, CENS’ volunteer geologists gave an orientation on Earth Science, Geohazards, Bohol’s geological history, map reading, and identifying earth materials, such as rocks and minerals.

In this three-day event, CENS collaborated with the Provincial Government of Bohol (PGBh) through the Bohol Provincial Environment Management Office (BPEMO) and the Department of Education (DepEd) Bohol Division. This collaboration aligns with the Bohol Island UNESCO Global Geopark’s advocacy to promote appreciation among Boholanos of the significance of the province’s geological heritage and create efforts to protect it through environmental conservation.

CENS’ Volunteer Geologist Nancy Aguda said this activity aims to provide educators with the essential knowledge and practical teaching techniques to make it easier for them to teach their students concepts of geology, geography, ecology, seismology, and other fields under earth science. Aguda said this activity is in response to an existing gap in local education, which the geologist said lacks the incorporation of geoscience concepts in its curriculum.

“This is one of our important advocacies to help schools, as we saw a lack of equipped educators with proper knowledge on earth science, a recurring problem that we observed and the reason why we have been doing geoscience training for a very long time,” Aguda said.

The geologist added that this was the first time they conducted geoscience training among educators in the Visayas region. CENS, a non-governmental organization founded in 2020 that focuses on research and development, hopes to create more awareness of geohazards and how to mitigate them through education, proper planning, and policy-making.

Participants at the three-day event participated in lectures, classroom demonstrations, familiarization with the Geopark concept, and fieldwork at the identified geosites under the Bohol Island UGGp. On its last day, CENS held a graduation ceremony for the teachers for completing the training, attended by BPEMO Department Head Jovencia Ganub, DepEd-Bohol Supervisor Jupiter Maboloc, Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s Committee Chair on Education 1st District Board Member Lucille Lagunay, representing Governor Aris Aumentado, and Candijay Municipal Administrator Alvin Neil Galera, representing Mayor Thamar Olaivar, who all gave their messages of support for CENS and their efforts to deepen the participants’ understanding of Bohol’s geological features and hazards.

Under the Strategic Change Agenda of the Aumentado-Balite administration on Environmental Sustainability, PGBh hopes to push more scientific education among Boholanos and foster an understanding of its impacts on everyday life, from agriculture, transportation, health, and infrastructure. With the impending climate crisis, PGBh commits to developing a resilient, climate-smart Bohol by implementing environmental programs to help mitigate ecological degradation in the island province.