/ 6 July 2021

TWO PUBLIC high schools were recognized at the recently concluded 2020 Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization – Japan Education for Sustainable Development Award for their programs that address plastic problems.

The Davao Del Norte-based Salvacion National High School bagged the 3rd prize  for its initiative called Project Go G.R.E.E.N. (Greeneration, Rehabilitation, and Education for an Eco-friendly Nation against waste pollution) while the Baay National High School in Abra won the special prize for the Best Program Carried Out in Small Schools of Less than 250 Students with its project called CHANGE or Clean, Habitable, Adaptable, and Nurturing Greener Environment.

Headed by SNHS Principal Dr. Alma Canton and Teacher Coordinator Stanley Manaay, Project GO GREEN conducts activities such as environmental awareness drive, buy-back plastic waste operation, solid waste management training, clean up drives, eco-caravan program for other schools and income-generating projects like the Trash to Cash Center and selling of Eco Decors.

Meanwhile, Project CHANGE, implemented by the Youth for Environment in Schools Organization, BNHS Principal Hector Lopez and Teacher Coordinator Paul John Dawal, promotes reducing plastic waste, and implements clean-up activities, recycling, tree planting and ecobrick production.

The two eco-projects bested entries from 181 schools from the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones commended the schools for their initiatives.

“The department is proud of our public schools for taking an active role in addressing pressing environmental issues in their communities. This will not only increase the awareness of our learners, teachers, and school personnel but will also generate action to find solutions to these concerns,” Briones said.

Also, three Filipino educators — Christopher Chua of Batangas State University, Fernan Tupas of Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College, and Mildred Crisostomo of Don Honorio Ventura State University — were among the Top 10 shortlisted for the 2020 SEAMEO-Australia Education Links Award.

Under the 2020 theme “Education Innovations that Work: Enhancing Links between Southeast Asia and Australia,” the award recognizes and funds proposals that display education cooperation between the region and the country.