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Promoting Ocean Literacy and Combating Chemical Pollution via Marine Education in Taiwan 

Nethusari S. Rajapakse
International Bilingual School at Tainan Science Park, Taiwan

Abstract. In the rapidly industrializing world of the 21st century, the many negative environmental impacts of modern-day human practices are becoming substantially more evident. One such problem not brought into considerable focus is chemical pollution in the oceans. As Taiwan is an island that relies heavily on the surrounding ocean for many economic practices, the harms and preventive measures of ocean chemical pollution must be discussed forthwith. This paper aims to conduct an analysis on the current scientific literature published on the topic of ocean chemical pollution and its various impacts specifically on Taiwan’s oceans but also aims to conduct a study on Taiwanese university students to investigate the role the current education system plays in establishing the basic understanding of the risks of ocean chemical pollution. This study was organized by surveying 62 university students from the Tainan National University of the Arts and the National Taipei University of Technology. Results showed that 59.7% of students reported they had never learned about ocean chemical pollution in school before, 17.7% of students reported they were not sure, and only 22.6% of students reported that they did learn about ocean chemical pollution in school. This statistically correlates to how only 25.8% of students answered chemical pollution as the most serious problem Taiwan’s oceans are facing. A fundamental understanding of ocean chemical pollution in the upcoming generation of young workers, who ultimately will take part in future governmental decision-making, is necessary in that it leads to:
1) an overall increased public support when the government or other private organizations take charge to implement solutions
2) an ability to develop lifestyles that reduce the risk of man-made ocean chemical pollution
3) a willingness to contribute to preventive measures.

Keywords: education system, ocean chemical pollution, ocean literacy, Taiwan, university students

About the author

Nethusari Sakithya Rajapakse is a high school senior student of Sri Lankan nationality studying at the International Bilingual School at Tainan Science Park in Taiwan. Her academic interests include neuroscience, human biology, and cancer immunology. She is a selected board member of the Taiwan International Ocean Youth Advisory Committee, which played a large role in initiating this research. She is the co-founder of the science club at her school and a Yale Young Global Scholar 2022 alumni.

To Be or Not to Be a Great Educator, 2022. Proceedings of ATEE Annual Conference
Riga: University of Latvia Press, 2023. 985 p.
EdL. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-36-019-0