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Doha College has become the first school in Qatar to be awarded an Eco-Schools Green Flag from the Foundation for Environmental Education. The school’s Eco Committee and staff officially hoisted the Green Flag to mark the occasion in a ceremony held at the school recently (Ed notes 30 August).
The Eco-Schools programme is delivered to 49,000 schools across 64 countries by NGOs in these countries, and coordinated from the Denmark based, Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). Doha College is the first school to be awarded the coveted Eco-Schools status directly from FEE Head Office, under their new scheme for international schools. The award was granted following a vigorous inspection which looked into all the sustainable initiatives being run by the school.
“The Eco-Schools programme’s greatest achievement is arguably that it produces generation after generation of sustainably minded, environmentally conscious people by focusing on education throughout schools. These individual students will carry the behavioural patterns they learn under the auspices of Eco-Schools with them throughout life, in turn teaching the next generation environmental habits to make a difference.” explained Bríd Conneely, International Director of Eco-Schools at FEE Head Office.
To participate in the Eco-Schools programme, each school must implement a seven step change process and empower their students to lead processes and actions wherever they can. Schools are inspected every second year to ensure environmental practices are maintained.
The Doha College Eco Committee included 30 students from across all secondary year groups and was led by Senior Prefect, Kane Bastick. The themes chosen by the school included paper recycling, plastic recycling and litter reduction. A number of projects were implemented including recycling bins throughout the whole school, a plastic bottle greenhouse, litter picking programmes, participation in the Earth Cup Challenge and most importantly the incorporation of environmental issues into the curriculum for all students.
Mr Brian Kerr, Geography teacher and one of the lead teachers for this initiative explained, “We are very proud to have achieved this Green Flag after two years of hard work from the students and staff. In particular, The Eco-Schools Eco Committee led by Senior Prefect, Kane
Bastik displayed excellent leadership skills and were true role models for promoting environmental practices around the school.”
Each year a new student committee will lead the Doha College Eco-Schools programme, Geography teacher and fellow lead teacher for the Eco-Schools programme Naomi Capewell, explained. “This year’s committee will be led by 6th formers Ross O’Donnell and Emily White. I am looking forward to working with them to continue the good work which has now been embedded into the school and to bring in exciting new initiatives. We hope that other schools in Qatar will follow our lead and enrol in the Eco-Schools programme, so that young people throughout the country will be encouraged to act in a sustainable manner. “
Daniel Schaffer, CEO of FEE, said: “I’d like to congratulate Doha College and all its students and teachers on their great achievement, and wish them continued success with their work in sustainability. We are delighted to have our first official international school with a Green Flag awarded from our Head Office.”
Committee members who were involved in the inspection –
- Elena Straface
- Alexandra Nightingale
- Petra Darmawan
- Chelsea Mabulay
- Leena Mohamed
- Tatiana Fairley
- Tanisha Chopra
- Shadi Abboud
- Caitlyn Owen
- Alicia Field
- Kane Bastic
- Lenny Heidl