How important is it to teach school students about environmental protection?

Last week, the Environment Protection Fund organised activities at the Sinxay Primary and Junior Secondary School to teach students about the significance of the environment and the little steps that can go a long way in protecting our surroundings. Vientiane Times went along and asked some teachers, students and officials what they think of teaching primary students about preserving the environment.

 

Mr Khampadith Khammounheuang, the Executive Director of the Environment Protection Fund, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment: Our purpose is to instil a sense of care for the environment in our young students and insights in to environmental protection in the students of primary and secondary schools.   The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ministry of Education and Sports have joined hands on this issue and are creating a syllabus that incorporates environmental themes and the effects of climate change for both primary and secondary schools. Today’s event has many activities and games of learning for the students.  In a fun atmosphere they will learn about illegal logging and hunting of wildlife.  They’ll get to both ask and answer questions, all the while learning about how to keep the environment clean and green.

Mrs Alee Pholsena, the Director of Sinxay Primary and Secondary School: This event today will benefit both students and the environment.  We like to guide our students to be responsible in keeping our environment clean.  We encourage them to separate dry and wet litter and to always dispose of their waste appropriately.  This is while they’re at school, but also at home and in public spaces.  We bring activities into our lessons to help teach pupils about the value of our natural resources and ways to preserve them.  Care for the environment is fostered in our children from a young age.  We have also used environmental awareness as a means to raise funds for new school resources. We encouraged our students to collect plastic bottles they found so we could sell them on for recycling. 

Ms Bouasone Xayyavong, a teacher at Sinxay Primary and Secondary School: I think todays activities are great.  Students are getting to learn about threats to the environment like logging, illegal dumping of waste, forest fires, large scale pollution and climate change. I am very happy to see the students enjoying themselves while they are also learning new things. What is happening here today would go down well at any school in the country.

Ms Thanomchit Makilavong, a grade five student at Sinxay Primary and Secondary School:  Before this Environment Protection Fund event was organised the teachers told us to clean up the school area.  This meant both inside and outside the buildings, and sometimes after classes before going home too. Today is a very nice day after all our hard work. Pretty much every student is here watching the performances, playing games and learning about ways to protect the environment. The hard work was worth it.  I want them to do this event again at Sinxay Primary and Secondary school.  It has been our pleasure to welcome everyone.

Mr Vongsa Somsana, grade four student at Sinxay Primary and Secondary School: We learned how to separate dry and wet litter into different dustbins today. I am going to do it at my house now. I reuse a free plastic bottle I have for my drinking water now too, rather than continually tossing plastic ion to the rubbish bins. Activities like this are great as some kids have no idea about what they should do to protect our natural environments.

By Phouthong Sivongsa
(Latest Update March 26, 2019)


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