'Green' schools from Visayas bag ASEAN awards

By Nikka Garriga

SAN CARLOS CITY, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL—Two schools from the Philippines received the Eco-Friendly Schools Award from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in recognitionof their green initiatives.

The Iliranan Elementary School here and the Camarines Sur National High School bested other primary and secondary high schools in the region, with their efforts to integrate environmental initiatives in their curriculum, and the implementation of greening activities in the school management.

The Philippine delegation received the award during the ministerial dinner for the launching of the ASEAN Environmental Year (AEY) 2012 in Kuala Lumpur.

“It is the Philippines’ pride that these schools have mainstreamed environmental education not just in their curriculum, but also in their extra-curricular and community activities. They are examples in the country for environmental protection and advocacy,” said Corazon Davis, assistant secretary for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources .

The award is part of the ASEAN Eco-Schools Program which seeks to create a school culture geared towards environmental protection and preservation.

Such activities must facilitate and inspire school communities to protect and sustain the environment in the community and of the nation as a whole.

In the Philippines, environmental education is introduced early in primary school in hopes that this will encourage students them to take environment-related courses in college.

Among initiative integrated in our curriculum include waste management, recycling, greening projects, and community-related activities.

Other winners from member countries include Kuala Belait Primary School in Brunei; No. 3 Basic Education Post Primary School in Myanmar; Treng Trayoeung Secondary School in Cambodia; and Muhammadiyah 1 Junior High School in Indonesia.

The AEY is a celebration held once every three years to showcase ASEAN’s achievements and commitments to environmental protection and to promote public awareness on environmental issues in general.

(Photo from the Department of Foreign Affairs)

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