This July, the 2015 ASEAN Eco Schools Awards will be held in Myanmar, in celebration of the ASEAN Environment Year. With the theme, “Empowering the Youth for a Clean and Green ASEAN”, two schools will be representing the Philippines — Dubinan Elementary School and Ateneo De Davao University High School.
These schools emerged as champions in the most recent National Search for Sustainable and Eco-friendly Schools organized by the national government.
Here are a few tidbits about the schools and their environmental programs:
Dubinan Elementary School
Dubinan Elementary School [in Dubinan, Santiago City – Region 2 (Cagayan Valley)] strongly abides by, and enforces, environmental policies. Teachers are well-trained in the strategies and methods on teaching environment-related topics (such as environmental protection and waste management), as well as in the preparation of instructional materials that are suitable to the needs of their students.
The school is the 2013 Champion in the National Search for Sustainable and Eco-friendly Schools (also in the Region); Champion in the Search for Cleanest and Greenest School; Champion in the Eco-Lantern Making Contest; Champion in the Brigada Eskwela Best Implementer (Theme: Disaster-Free School), among many others.
It also implements the following:
Paper Conservation Program. Paper conservation trays and boxes can be found in the classrooms where used papers are kept. These are later used to make paper charcoals, flower vases, and lays.
Water Conservation Program. Rain water is harvested and used in watering plants and in cleaning dirty walls and fences. Students and teachers likewise always use basins in washing their hands to conserve water. Leaking faucets are also repaired and replaced.
Electricity Conservation Program. The school implements a “9 o’clock habit”. Every day, from 9-9:30 am, all electrical gadgets, machines, and facilities in the school are switched off to conserve energy. They have also replaced bulbs with energy-saving lamps.
Waste Management Program. The school has a “Zero Basura, May Pera sa Basura” (Zero Waste, There’s Money in Garbage) program where every one is made aware of and does proper waste segregation, recycling, reduction, and reuse. Trash bins are properly labeled and a ten-minute orientation on the different waste management programs is conducted everyday.
Pollution Prevention Program. There is a “No Smoking” policy in the campus, and a ban on entry of smoke-belching vehicles is strictly implemented. Pesticides and harmful repellants are not used in the school.
Dubinan Elementary School is also sensitive to issues of gender equality. There is an organized Gender and Development Committee to meet the needs of all pupils and to strengthen its goals towards equality. The indigenous people (IP) in the school are being recognized through the designation of an IP Coordinator. There is a designated Guidance Counselor to help save pupils who are at risk of dropping out. The School Grievance Committee members and all teachers are skilled in conflict resolution strategies. The school strongly implements DepEd’s Child Protection Policy and advocates Anti-Bullying, and conducts orientations on Parenting and Guidance Counseling.
Ateneo de Davao University – High School
The Ateneo De Davao University-High School ecological mission is to be the watershed for the ‘love and learning of’ and ‘learning to love’ the environment for the Ateneo community and the community it serves. It engages vigorously in environmental protection, the preservation of biodiversity and the promotion of renewable energy.
The school has an environmental program called Ecoteneo. They envision a community that is lush and verdant in greenery, where the air we breathe is clean, the water we drink is fresh, our buildings energy-efficient, and our grounds waste-free. They envision every member of the Ateneo family to be a person-for-others and the environment, living a happy, healthy and ecological lifestyle, one with the Earth, at peace with humanity, and in reconciliation with God.
Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Program. The Ateneo De Davao University-High School responds to disaster relief through its volunteer faculty and student organizations. Recent disaster relief coordinated with the Coordinator for Student Activities were the Sendong 2011, Pablo 2012 and El Rio flooding 2013.
Greening Program. The greening of the campus has been initiated since 2011 with the maintenance of the fishpond, pocket gardens and birdcare at the Materials Recovery Facility area. Plants and greenery can be found inside the offices (and restrooms) including the Principal’s office. The urban greening of the students will be programmed in the mid-year operations planning of Ecoteneo.
Water Conservation Program. Water conservation program is scheduled in the 5 Year Development Plan. Basic housekeeping (signages in the restrooms) is observed including maintenance and repairs.
Waste Management Program. The Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Program is the priority program of Ecoteneo. The ESWM involves segregation, Materials Recovery Facility operations including composting, education/training of maintenance, students (demo by maintenance and reminders in class) and faculty (lakbay-aral and in-house trainings).
Photos and background information courtesy of Mr. Nino Pinalva, Youth Desk Officer of the Environmental Management Bureau – Department of Environment and Natural Resources.