National Operator Interviews: Alliya Moun-ob

INTERVIEW WITH ALLIYA MOUN-OB
WWF THAILAND, THAILAND

 

City where the organisation is based: Bangkok

Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 50/2

 

What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Cats
  • Sea or mountains? Mountains
  • Chocolate or chips? Chocolate
  • Film or book? Both
  • City or countryside? City
  • Favourite word or phrase: ‘We are part of this planet’
  • If you could sing one song on a music competition show on television, what would it be?

‘How far I’ll go’ by Moana

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

I taught WWF staff to play a board game called ‘TAKENOKO’. It was their first time to play any other board game that was not Monopoly. The next day, everyone who played the game walked to my desk and asked ‘Will we play it again?’ 

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

We have received a warm welcome from every school that we visited. There are a lot of positive people working on this programme because we aim for the same thing ‘Encourage students to have the best environment for learning and living’. In future, we wish to integrate the Eco-Schools programme with other environmental programmes from both the private sector and government sector.

Activities by WWF Thailand

We trained an Eco Committee at each school to guarantee that they all understand our process. We also trained other students about waste separation and why it is important for everyone to help reduce litter.  We used games for the training. Then, we visited schools with our Eco Committee to give information and advise about the programme. The award day was set for 24th May, 2017.  Because of our partnership with IKEA, we held a ceremony for students to celebrate their achievements and visited Bangkok Waste Incinerator.  

An inspiring story by WWF Thailand

Most Thai schools are running an environmental project organised by teachers but the Kunnatee Rutharam Wittayakhom School is different. A school principle and teachers are encouraging their students to be at the cutting edge. At every school board meeting, parent association meeting, or local authority meeting, they give an opportunity for the students to present information about their Eco-Schools programme. The students also invited a community leader to be a member of their Eco Committee and implement a joint project to reduce the waste problem both in the school and the community. 

 

Game ideas!

  • Sea Turtle Food

Aim of game: to make students understand why plastic bag reduction is important.

The rule is simple. Divide students into two groups; turtles and turtle food. 

Give a card to each student in the food group. There are two types of cards; plastic bags and jellyfish. The students holding the food cards must not let the turtles know what they are. 

Then, ask turtles to mix with the food. Indicate the number of food cards that the turtles need to find. If the turtle has more plastic bag cards than jellyfish cards, it dies. 

Separate the dead turtles out. Put the people with the food cards back in the game, reshuffle the cards and redistribute.

Play the game until there are 1-2 groups remaining.

For the game conclusion, we show the students a picture of a plastic bag and jellyfish in the ocean, and ask them if it looks similar or different. Then we ask them how the plastic bags end up in the sea.

National Operator Interviews: Moaz Sawaf

INTERVIEW WITH MOAZ SAWAF

Environmental Center for Arab Towns (ECAT), UAE

 

City where the organisation is based: Dubai

Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 7/2

 

What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Dogs
  • Sea or mountains? Mountains
  • Chocolate or chips? Chips
  • Film or book? Film
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase: Do not say it's impossible before giving it a try.
  • If you could sing one song on a music competition show on television, what would it be?

I did it my way

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

In my spare time, I conduct basic survival courses in our mountains and deserts. I was with a group of five people explaining to them how to overcome natural obstacles and choosing the safest path, and we were on a very narrow ledge 20 meters high with a water pool beneath. As I was explaining to them how to cross safely, I fell down into the pool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

 

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

Raising awareness, especially among school students has been my passion for years, and being involved in the Eco-Schools programme was a great way to boost this. For me to see keen Eco-Schools coordinators and young students bursting with energy and wanting to save our planet makes me so happy and bring tears of joy to my eyes. I would honestly say that schools who registered in the programme and are active, they exceed the programme criteria by far. My hopes, dreams and vision is to see more schools taking part in this great programme, and ensure those young students continue the great work in their university life and career.

 

Activities by ECAT

I do a lot of various activities for the schools. I make a point of giving a lecture, talk or a workshop to one school per week. The topics are basically on conserving the wildlife in the UAE, reducing our water and energy consumption and sustainable living.

I also arrange field trips. This year I did field trips to a wetland protected area on the occasion of the International Wetland Day. We explained to the students why wetlands are important and what benefits and services we get from them.

On the occasion of the World Tree Day, I managed to get from the government 100 small native trees and we planted them in various schools.

We also conduct workshops every year for the new schools and coordinators on how to implement the programme at their school.

 

An inspiring story by ECAT

It’s difficult to decide because most of the schools are doing outstanding work. Sorry for being greedy but I will talk about two cases.

The first one. The UAE is a hot arid desert with scarce freshwater resources and this means it’s not an agricultural country. One school managed to utilise all the available spaces they have to grow vegetables during the cooler months (Sept-Mar). They used the water from the Air-condition devices to water the plants, also they used the water from the wash sinks in the bathrooms. They also built two hydroponic systems. The project was a big success. The vegetables were given to poor people.

The second one. A group of students from grade 10 and 11 conducted their own research on the air quality for the classrooms with indoor plants and without plants. The way the research was conducted, the report and results were very well done. 
 

National Operator Interviews: Sirje Aher

INTERVIEW WITH SIRJE AHER

Eesti Looduskaitse Selts, Estonia

 

City where the organisation is based:  Talinn

Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 7/1

 

What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Cats
  • Sea or mountains? Neither, I prefer forest
  • Chocolate or chips? Chocolate
  • Film or book? Film
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase: If nothing bad has happened yet, there’s no reason to worry. If something bad has happened, there’s no sense worrying about it anymore.
  • If you could sing one song in a music competition show on television, what would it be?

I Got The Sun In The Morning - Doris Day

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

I recently had a funny lesson in perspectives. My husband and I are biologists. I had an argument with him about whether the object we found in the flowerbed was a half-eaten mouse or the wing of a bird. It turned out we were both right as the skin and wing had been glued together by an owl such that only one was visible from either side.

 

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

I believe that the best way to make our society more sustainable is to reach out to children. It was great to see the number of kids reacting positively to the wonderfully creative ways teachers raise their environmental awareness. Most institutions were independent and continued to surprise us when they showcased the activities they had invented. It’s heart-warming to see the sincere enthusiasm with which everybody involved approaches the programme, and I hope that it continues to expand and to involve more people across all age groups. I also hope international cooperation continues to be as fruitful as when Belgium and the UK offered their support (especially via sharing initiatives and materials). I am glad that the parents have also become involved and have more environmental awareness.

 

Activities by Eesti Looduskaitse Selts

Our activities stem from our desire to support the independent actions of educational institutions that intend to reach our agreed goal, rather than imposing our own ideas. We mostly aim to provide new opportunities and help when it’s needed. This generally takes the form of consultations. When a kindergarten or school approaches us with an idea or a request, we organise a meeting to help overcome the difficulties or provide needed know-how to reach their self-determined goal. We also proactively approach participants ourselves to make sure that no issues have arisen that would hamper the implementation of their ideas. Naturally, many of the raised questions are relevant for several institutions which leads into many forms of experience sharing among participants. Around once a month we also organise various seminars. Some of them are purely informative, such as inviting a lecturer from Tallinn Technical University to speak about the latest developments in the understanding of the environment of the Baltic Sea. Other seminars focus on teaching new methods and some seminars provide a forum for participants to share their experiences with one another. Each of the seminars has been very popular among the participants. 

In the spring time Estonia has had “Let’s Do It” clean-ups where schools have actively participated. The Let’s Do It movement has had great success in organising clean-up events in Estonia and has by now also found worldwide success. On September 15, 2018, World Cleanup Day, the movement intends that people in 150 countries will stand up against the global trash problem and clean up waste, making it the biggest positive civic action the world has seen. You can read more about it https://www.letsdoitworld.org/about/overview/ 

 

An inspiring story by Eesti Looduskaitse Selts

I never cease to be amazed by the insight and creativity of our participants. For example the following idea is a very simple solution but can have a very high impact. Estonian kindergartens and schools provide hot meals to all their pupils in the belief that a balanced and healthy meal will allow pupils to learn and develop to the best of their ability. Because the children are used to this and they can be picky, a lot of it is left on the plate and goes to waste. They do not think about it and if this habit persists then they may also end up throwing away a lot of food once they have grown up.

Tuule kindergarten found a very simple solution to counteract this: they asked all 5-7year old children to serve their own meals – reminding them to take exactly as much as they wish to eat. They can always take more, but they have to eat the food they have put on their plates. Through this hands-on experience, children immediately relate to the seemingly complex issue of food and resource management. Furthermore, the solution empowers children and helps them develop as individuals. Some schools already use a buffet type serving method, but it's important to teach children about the environmental impact of their actions at the youngest possible age.

National Operator Interviews: Sally Buqa'een

INTERVIEW WITH Sally Buqa'een

The Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan (JREDS), Jordan

 

City where the organisation is based:  Amman

Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 8/2

 

What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Cats
  • Sea or mountains? Sea
  • Chocolate or chips? Chocolate
  • Film or book? Film
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase: LOVE
  • If you could sing one song in a music competition show on television, what would it be?

"You raise me up" Josh Groban

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

Messy moments - when you are working on a computer and a laptop and working on two tasks at the same time! I was preparing a proposal on one and was replying to emails on the other.  Suddenly the computer keyboard stopped. I tried to fix it, put the USB wire in and out but I kept failing. I called my colleague to help with the problem and she simply asked me to look where I am typing!

 

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

The programme inspired some schools to establish a project at a local level that later became a success story, and was published in the media. It also helped a lot in better communications between the students, the local community, school levels and the Ministry of Education. I hope someday the programme is adopted as part of the national education strategy and policies, as there is a need to spread environment ethics and best practices among future generations to sustain the effort already being made to save the planet.  

 

Activities by the Royal Marine Conservation Society (JREDS)

The main activities are:

  1. Teacher training and meetings
  2. School Committee training
  3. Creation and facilitation of the network between schools
  4. Advising schools on how to run and develop activities and connect them with other relevant organisations if necessary

 

An inspiring story by the Royal Marine Conservation Society (JREDS)

  • Kings' Academy Annual Green Conference

The King’s Academy Annual Green Conference is a great opportunity to gather more than 200 students from private and public schools across Jordan. During a one-day event in March 2017, they exchanged experiences in the field of environment and best practices to reduce human impact on limited natural resources.

Last year, different schools participated in the conference, under the theme Agents of Change. Offsetting carbon dioxide emissions and minimising littering were the main topics raised and discussed in groups, highlighting the achievements and future plans to sustain the action and disseminate it at the local level. At the end of the day, all participating students were asked to join the conference to display the achievements gained and share the experience.

The conference is considered a key element to enrich networking between schools by meeting up and covers different environmental themes.

  • Local Waste Separation point

Queen Rania Al-Abdulla School is one of the first public schools that received the Eco-Schools Green Flag in 2009. With its principal and enthusiastic committee leading the school succeeded in 2015 in establishing the first local waste separation point on the school grounds. The idea was spread through publications and media to raise awareness among the students' parents and neighbouring community. Moreover, the idea was enhanced by meeting with cleaning labour in the area in order to introduce the project and encourage them to spread the word and participate in the separation process.
 

  • Prince Hamzeh bin Al-Hussein School

Prince Hamzeh bin Al-Hussein School joined the Eco-Schools programme in 2011/2012, aiming at improving the school environment and involving students in environmental protection activities. The school has put enormous efforts into spreading the knowledge among students, teachers and the local community as a first step towards greening the school.

In 2014, the school succeeded in receiving a fund from the Ford Company to replace all florescent bulbs with LED.  This achievement was followed by intensive lectures and awareness raising campaigns conducted by the Environmental Committee to inform all about the importance of the school’s commitment to the Eco-Schools goals and plans. 

National Operator Interviews: Davida Morris

INTERVIEW WITH DAVIDA MORRIS

Greenrock, Bermuda

  • City where the organisation is based: Hamilton
  • Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 2/1

What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Cats
  • Sea or mountains? I live on an island – Sea!
  • Chocolate or chips? Chips
  • Film or book? Both
  • City or countryside? City girl but both have their merits
  • Favourite word or phrase:

'Awesome!', 'Fabulous!' Or some other one word phrase that shows pleasure. 

  • If you could sing one song in a music competition show on television, what would it be?

Grenade by Bruno Mars

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

I was hosting a meeting at work for YRE and I was greeting the people who were coming in at the entry. (Our office is on the second floor.) I hadn’t met everyone who was coming to the meeting in person before, we had only interacted through email. So I’m standing by the door waiting and this older gentleman comes in and speaks to me. I said “Good afternoon, Mr Zuill?” and he responds with a good afternoon of his own. We chat about the weather (it was coming down in buckets) and then as we start to walk towards the elevator I say that we are still waiting for Jeremy but I will take him upstairs anyway. To which he responds that there wasn’t to be anyone else at the meeting. I ask if he was here for the Greenrock meeting, he says no, he’s heading to the Centre of Philanthropy which is on the ground floor. I say you’re not Mr Zuill. He says no and gives his name. I explained that I had greeted him as Zuill but he says that he heard me wrong. 

Funny thing is I had met the same gentleman before about 8-9 years previously. I think we both forgot about each other. Oops!
 

 

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

I’m new to the position, having only started September 1, 2016 so every target reached is a high point for me. 

I love the Eco-Schools programme; it’s flexibility makes it accessible to so many students. I was approached by a school on an island to help teach a science course using Eco-Schools as a foundation. The students in this course were not performing at the same level as their peers due to learning disorders such as dyslexia. By having the students create a school garden they are able to be more hands-on while learning about plants, farming, water systems and food production in general. 

I am really excited about this course because I feel it could open up possibilities for a lot more students. I’ve already had feedback from teachers saying that some students in this present group are completely different now in the classroom because they have had this opportunity. It is very encouraging and I’m hoping to grow it.

Activities by Greenrock

Since I’m still new there’s a lot I haven’t done as yet and there are a lot of things I’d like to do in the future which is exciting and fun. For Earth week I am planning an Eco-Schools Expo in the city of Hamilton. This is an opportunity for all Eco-Schools to showcase what they have been learning not only with other Eco-Schools but with the local community as well. It fulfils step 6 for everyone but it will be such a cool event for the students and the public as well. 

An inspiring story by Greenrock

I would say that one of my happiest moments came when one of our Eco-Schools agreed to start a garden at a day facility for adults with learning disabilities. The students dug right into the garden building and even agreed to return to the facility in the near future because they enjoyed the process so much. I was really proud to be a part of such a worthwhile initiative and to be a part of connecting students to a group of people that they might not ordinarily be in contact with.

National Operator Interviews: Gregor Cerar

  • INTERVIEW WITH GREGOR CERAR

Društvo DOVES-FEE Slovenia, Slovenia

  • City where the organisation is based: Portoroz
  • Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 12/3

 

What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Dogs
  • Sea or mountains? Sea
  • Chocolate or chips? Fairtrade Chocolate
  • Film or book? Film
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase:

'Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose - Per aspera ad astra'

  • If you could sing one song in a music competition show on television, what would it be?

Queen: We are the Champions

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

No real funny thing happened to me recently. My life is so serious … :)

 

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

Some high points:

  • A great team of people that might differ in character, in the way they work, and in their personal lives, but all of them are focused and dedicated to helping the Eco-Schools programme grow
  • 20 years of introducing and implementing the Eco-Schools programme in Slovenia, which we celebrated last year
  • The active participation of 280 Eco-Schools with more than 80,000 children and students and over 8,000 teachers taking part in more than 4,000 environmental projects
  • The network of sponsors, which has been supporting the Eco-Schools programme for several years in a row
  • Facing the on-going challenge to develop Eco-Schools on a different level, to connect institutions from all educational levels (kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, faculties), to create interesting environmental projects with different themes and teams, to run interdisciplinary projects, to encourage schools for international cooperation, etc.

Vision: That teachers and pupils are proud to be awarded the Green Flag. Eco-Schools is a leading, globally recognised and well-established programme for environmental education and awareness in Slovenia. The Eco-Schools Green Flag is an added value and visibility/recognition among stakeholders. 

 

Activities by Društvo DOVES-FEE Slovenia

In Slovenia, we organise two major events for Eco-Schools coordinators each year: the Annual Conference for National Eco-Schools Coordinators for Kindergartens (usually in May), and the Annual National Conference for Eco-Schools Coordinators (usually at end of September). In previous years, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Education, the Minister of Agriculture and other government officials, have attended the conferences.

The activities of the Eco-Schools programme are showcased at the Altermed Fair, the biggest fair in Slovenia on Healthy Living. Over 80 Eco-Schools present their projects, products and other activities. 

We also organise regional meetings for coordinators and several teachers’ training/workshops with the purpose of strengthening their knowledge on specific environmental topics, or to motivate them to implement the principles of the Eco-Schools programme in their everyday work. We prepare and publish various materials for teachers, as well as for children. 

With the valuable support of sponsors and other experts, we plan and implement national projects, such as online Eco-Quizzes for primary schools and secondary schools, waste material art contests, etc. We encourage separate waste collection in Eco-Schools, sustainable mobility, biodiversity, efficient use of energy, cleaning activities, waste material collection for charity purposes, planting trees, etc. We are proud that actually, each participating school works on three common projects and, above all, that individual work on environmental issues are recognised as the most important in their communities.

In the last two years, we have organised many events to share best practices and published an annual booklet with selected case studies. Sharing best practices is very well accepted among teachers.

 

 

An inspiring story by Društvo DOVES-FEE Slovenia

Zadobrova Primary School (located in the suburbs of Ljubljana, the capital) is one of the most active Eco-Schools in Slovenia. They implement more than 60 different environmental projects yearly. We were proud and happy that the school won the international Toyota Environment and Innovation project in 2014.

Currently, they are very active in the We Eat Responsibly project, supported and co-financed by the EU, run in 9 Eco-Schools countries from 2015-2017. Under this project, the pupils investigate the meat production and check the offers for fruit and vegetables from local farms. Pupils engage with the farmers during their farm work, help them pick and sort potatoes and apples, learn how to grow vegetables and fruit, take care of domestic animals and prepare traditional dishes from homegrown vegetables.

In terms of practical knowledge and experiences gained from their direct cooperation with farmers, students started to grow seedlings for the school garden in their classrooms. They made their own Diary of Waste Food, in which they presented measurements of amount of food waste at school and at home. They presented analyses, photos and thoughts on food waste all year round in their Eco-corner in the school hall.

The school organised an Eco-day: 2016 focused on the problems of soya production as food for livestock and palm oil presence in our food. The problems were presented through photos and posters. The pupils made vegan snacks, vegetable desserts, canapes, and decorations. All their creations were offered to the visitors of Eco-day.  The event also had a charitable purpose; the pupils collected donations that were sent to the children in Madagascar. The pupils shared their experiences and knowledge with the citizens of Ljubljana and participated at the event that was part of the project called Ljubljana - Green Capital 2016.

 

National Operator Interviews: Ruth Van Ry

INTERVIEW WITH RUTH VAN RY

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Northern Ireland

 

  • City where the organisation is based: Belfast
  • Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 12/2

 

What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Dogs
  • Sea or mountains? Mountains
  • Chocolate or chips? Chocolate
  • Film or book? Book
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase: ‘It’ll be great!!’
  • If you could sing one song in a music competition show on television, what would it be?

Queen “Don’t stop me now”

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

My dog is still quite young. We rescued her in September and it’s been great to watch her confidence grow. She makes me laugh everyday with her crazy antics. 

 

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

Meeting so many inspiring teachers, young people and environmental enthusiasts makes every day a high point. We held a great 20th Anniversary Event in 2015 and the NOM in the same year! A bit crazy but very rewarding. I look forward to watching the programme help schools and influence young people to create a brighter, greener future for all. I would love to see every school in Northern Ireland with a Green Flag!  

 

Activities by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful

We run cluster group meetings, projects and competitions throughout the year as well as developing new teaching resources. In the last few years we have been lucky to receive funding to host a few big events. This year we have funding to provide a Teacher Eco Leadership course with Queen’s University Belfast and a Teacher’s Conference which we are really looking forward to in March.  

 

An inspiring story by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful

It is so difficult to choose only one case story so I will cheekily mention two schools.

Fairview Primary worked on a Rethink Waste project with us in 2013 and now send none of their waste to landfill after carefully reviewing their recycling options. They audit their waste every year and are trying to reduce and recycle as much as possible in all areas.

Ballycraigy Primary have blazed a trail in outdoor learning and raised huge amounts of money over the last four to five years to develop their school grounds into a wonderful space for growing food, keeping hens, exploring wildlife woodlands, keeping fit and inviting wildlife to take up residence. They have in the process transformed the way the school is viewed and used by the community who now regularly help in the garden and classroom. The school has become a real community hub.

These two schools have won many awards and accolades over the years including becoming Ambassador Eco-Schools. I was delighted to discover this year that the two Eco-Coordinators from each school are now working together, with the support of the Primary Science Teaching Trust, to develop a resource specifically looking at how the Eco-Schools programme supports primary science and vice-versa. Teachers and schools like these two truly inspire me to deliver and develop the Eco-Schools programme in the best way possible to facilitate similar successes for other schools. 

National Operator Interviews: Elisa Pallangyo

INTERVIEW WITH ELISA PALLANGYO

Tanzania Forest Conservation Group, Tanzania

 

  • City where the organisation is based: Dar es Salaam
  • Number of staff in the organisation/working with Eco-Schools: 151/3

 

What do you prefer?

  • Dogs or cats? Dogs
  • Sea or mountains? Both
  • Chocolate or chips? Chips
  • Film or book? Both
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase: Conservation for the future
  • If you could sing one song in a music competition show on television, what would it be?

Water flows from Morogoro mountains

  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

I was in a vehicle when I saw two people fighting for empty plastic bottles. Some years back, empty plastic bottles were a problem because there was no recycling. The guys were fighting for the bottles because nowadays you sell them and get money. It's business.

 

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

The high point of the programme is that schools, communities, and the government have been inspired in implementing the Eco-Schools programme at all levels, and aim at achieving sustainable development. The dream/hopes/vision of the programme is to see school children becoming young leaders in promoting environmental awareness, becoming environment and society change agents, and the schools becoming advocates for a better world. 

 

Activities by the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group

Activities include:

  • Teacher training: Teacher training is organised where most programme schools are represented. In total the programme is run at 20 primary schools in the Mvomero district
  • Eco-Schools Committee training: The Eco-Schools programme has only just recently started in Tanzania. After establishing the Eco-Schools committee, training sessions were organised to ensure that the committees were conversant with the programme. 20 Eco-Schools Committees have been established
  • Facilitating and supporting of micro-projects: About 17 schools are now running micro-projects at their schools
  • Awareness raising on recycling: Due to the huge amount of waste collected, we identified a need for raising awareness pertaining to the recycling process of waste.

 

An inspiring story by the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group

Lusanga Primary School: Lusanga Primary School joined the Eco-Schools programme in June 2015. The school commenced the programme by establishing an Eco-Schools Committee, developing an Environmental Review, and identifying challenges including the inadequate number of teachers, soil erosion, waste management, deforestation and scarcity of water, poor sanitation, etc. The school prepared the Action Plan and started addressing the challenges; Monitoring and Evaluation was implemented, and the school slowly started alleviating these challenges. They also improved the curriculum by using a learner-centred approach. Lusanga School is now a different school compared to those that do not participate in the programme.

The neighbouring schools and communities were inspired by what was happening at Lusanga School and now go to Lusanga for study visits to try and replicate activities at their schools and communities. Within a very short time, Lusanga is now an Eco-Schools model.

Eco-Schools launching event in Ukraine

NGO Ecological Initiative in Ukraine started their preparations to launch Eco-schools as the third FEE programme in Ukraine at the end of 2013. However, due to the challenging political situation in Ukraine the implementation was postponed.

NGO Ecological initiative and FEE are now proud to announce that the first school was awarded with the Certificate of the Participation on 12 October, 2016. This is a private educational centre"Rozumka" (translated as "smart kind"), located in Kozin community close to Kiev. Teachers, students and parents have strong commitments to implement the programme and hope to receive Green flag in September next year.    

via Eco-Schools Ukraine

Eco-Schools Celebration in Jordan

Eco-Schools Green Flags were raised in 23 schools dacross Amman and Aqaba, under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Basma bint Ali, Chair Person for the Royal Marine Conservation Society of Jordan (JREDS) and in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Environment.

Plaques and certificates were distributed to the awarded schools and teachers in return to their enormous efforts applying the the methodology of the Eco-Schools programme.

These achievements were hosted by Green Key hotels represented by the Sheraton Al-Nabil Hotel in Amman and Mövenpick Resort & Residences Aqaba, as part of their responsibility efforts towards the community, and to strengthen the integration and mainstreaming between the Foundation for Environmental Education programmes.

Meeting with Princess Basma bint Ali

On the 6 October 2016 a meeting was held with the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Basma bint Ali, and 60 schools from Aqaba city. The meeting was coordinated in full partnership and cooperation with the Aqaba Directorate of Education of the Ministry of Education.

This meeting aimed to stress on the importance of sustainable education in conserving the environment in Jordan, and the role of Eco-Schools in this regard. HRH Princess Basma congratulated all participating schools, with special attention to the awardee Green Flag schools, and encouraged other schools to increase their efforts to join the programme. HRH listened to the representatives from different schools and discussed ideas and initiatives to enrich schools with more environmental activities.  

  

National Operator Interviews: Daniels Truksans

Interview with Daniels Truksans

FEE Latvia, Latvia

 

  • City where organisation is based: Riga
  • Number of staff in the organisation / working on Eco-Schools: 6 / 2

 

What do you prefer?
 

  • Dogs or cats? Dogs
  • Sea or mountains? Both
  • Chocolate or chips? Chocolate
  • Film or book? Both
  • City or countryside? Countryside
  • Favourite word or phrase: Don't worry be happy
  • If you could sing one song in a music competition show on television, what would it be?Bobby McFerrin, Don't worry be happy :)
  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? I organised an event for an orphanage house and we visited the Science Centre AHHAA. All day was very fun. One example of silly moments when you don't know that recording is still going: ej.uz/jump_for_fun

 

A high point of the programme, hopes and visions

The existing data and observed practices affirm the promising potential of Eco-Scshools as a strong support for a formal educational establishments and local development. The highest point for the programme is that every school understands and appreciates it. The vision is to engage schools in efficient environmental management through reduced impacts on the environment, encouraging environmental protection in the work of municipalities, opening communication channels between the schools, municipalities and the local community which can be used to engage all these actors in environmentally responsible behaviours.

 

Activities by FEE Latvia

The activities of Eco-Schools are organised at the school level, community level and even national level, while also changing the behaviours of individual participants – teachers and students -  at their household level.

 

An inspiring story from a school in Latvia

  • Eco-Schools project “Eat responsibly” - Examples of cooperation between schools, municipalities and households

"Eat responsibly" is an international action-based project for Eco-Schools, that follows the European year of development 2015. The project informs about the global issues and the everyday decisions affecting them through the topic of food. The expected result is measurable long term changes in schools and surrounding communities.

In 2015/2016 there were 20 schools in the project in Latvia, that implemented the methodology based on the seven steps of the Eco-Schools programme – they formed an Eco-Committee consisting of students, teachers, members of the municipality and local organisations; they made an Environmental Review to assess the food consumption habits of families and other students, made an Action Plan, had the school curriculum include the related topics, created thematic events for the school and community, ensured the evaluation of the progress and created a related Eco-Code.

  • Ropazi Municipality and local schools:

In Ropazi both Pre-School “Annele” and the High School are Eco-Schools and both were participants of “Eat responsibly” during the first year.

Ropazi demonstrates an exemplary cooperation between the schools and the Ropazi Municipality; there is a municipality level Eco-Committee that works as a mediator between the schools, the municipality and the local community developing and implementing environmental initiatives – such as the newly founded local farmers market. There is also a good cooperation with local businesses (such as retailers and farmers) and other organisations with the goal of ensuring increased consumption of locally sourced organic products in schools and households.

There has also been good results at the school level in environmentally responsible behaviour. Pre-School “Annele” had set a priority to reduce food waste and achieved an almost 50% reduction on the amount of food wasted. It was achieved by motivating the children, making changes in the presenting the food, and in cooperation with parents, the municipality and a catering company. Through this cooperation, there is also a direct buying club started, supporting the local organic farmers. The school has also replaced the drinking water bought from a mineral water company to tap water, saving money and the environmental impact.

The nearby Ropazi High School organised a student led research and followed by a discussion about the topic of global food supply chains. The event was open both to students and parents raising awareness on food and its impacts on health and the environment.

Trash Fashion Show Macedonia 2016

On June 2, 2016 at the Youth Cultural Center in Skopje, OXO held  the sixth Trash Fashion Show contest, Macedonia 2016,  where  fashion creations made with redesigned materials from waste were created by the teams from 38 secondary schools in Macedonia.

The schools represented themselves with on-stage performances lasting 60 seconds and presented their fashion creations which were made based on this year’s topic:  "Film and cartoon characters" including Tinker Bell, Cinderella, Spiderman, The Devil Wears Prada, Maleficent  and many others made from different types of waste: plastic bags, paper, wires and even old computer chair.

This year, the three-member jury including Branislava Jankovska - Fashion Lover, famous model Katarina Ivanovska and Bojan Trajkovski - frontman of the band "Eye Cue" selected the top three places.

First place was awarded to the team from high school "Josip Broz Tito" for a creation called "She-Edward" made of buttons on keyboards, nylon ropesand cables. In second place was the school DUCOR "Partenija Zografski" from Skopje with a creation called "Michael Jackson" made of plastic, cardboard, tape, insulation tapes and paper. Third place went to school "Naum Naumovski - Borce" from Krusevo who presented their creation "Queen Elizabeth" constructed from openers for cans, plastic bags, paper and wire. The prize fund was provided by Bozinovski and Euro-Ekopak Ltd who gave vouchers to the winning teams.

Trash Fashion Macedonia 2016 was organized by Civic Association OXO and is part of the program Integration of environmental education in the Macedonian educational system.

Each year the Show is organized on the 5th of June which is also World Environment Day and represents an event which is unique  in the region in that it has been organized six years in a row, causing enormous attention in both domestic and foreign media.

Event - Eco Pack Macedonia 2016

On May 31, 2016 (Tuesday) at 18.00 an exhibition of works of art made from used Tetra Pak packaging was held as part of the prize for the competition "Eco Pack Macedonia" in the hall of the Youth Cultural Center in Skopje. This year's competition "Eco Pack Macedonia" was attended by 31 Eco-Schools with over 90 works of art made of selected Tetra Pak packaging based on the theme "Eco City".

Project Eco Pack is being implemented over nine years amongst the network of eco schools in Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, and from the academic year 2014/2015 was implemented in Macedonia for the first time. The project is intended to develop awareness of the importance of responsible behavior in children, students, teachers and parents by collecting, sorting, separating and removing the cardboard from used Tetra Pak packaging of milk, yogurt and juice products.

At the competition "Eco Package Macedonia 2016” the following prizes were awarded:

First place: artwork "Green City" from elementary school "Sv. Cyril and Methodius ", Bitola

Second place: artwork "Macedonia Eco City" from elementary school "Sv. Kliment Ohridski", Macedonian

Third place: artwork "Eco City" elementary school "Nikola Karev" Radovitsh

Special prize from the Swedish Embassy in the category "most creative solutions in conveying the theme" has been granted for works of art "Eco Windmill -Eco Energy", "Eco urban-Greenfield" and "Green village" all from the elementary school "Kliment Ohridski" in Dracevo, Kisela Voda.

For special efforts in the project, students with special educational needs from elementary school "Malina Pop Ivanova" from Kocani were rewarded with the artwork "Eco Park".The artwork "Eco building" from the elementary school "Jan Amos Comenius" Karposh and "Modern Eco House" from elementary school "Stiv Naumov" Bitola were rewarded for their most visionary solutions. Special awards for environmental messages were received by students from elementary school "Pere Toshev" Rosoman, elementary school "Nikola Karev" Radovis, elementary school "Nikola Karev", Krusevo and elementary school "Vasil Glavinov" Veles.

Prizes provided by Tetra Pak, OXO, the Swedish Embassy in Macedonia, Bozinovski watches and jewelry and Euro Eco Pack.

Global Teacher Prize – Winner and Top Ten Finalists

Hanan Al Hroub is the winner of the Global Teacher Prize 2016. She teaches at Samiha Khalil Secondary School in Palestine, where she focuses on providing a safe space in the classroom for her pupils, paying particular attention to their individual needs.

Her approach has led to a decrease of violent behaviour in schools, often influenced by the Palestinian tense environment.

Here are the 10 Finalists who competed for the prize:

  • Hanan Al Hroub, Palestine

  • Aqeela Asifi, Pakistan

  • Robin Chaurasiya, India

  • Joe Fatheree, USA

  • Colin Hegarty, United Kingdom

  • Richard Johnson, Australia

  • Ayub Mohamud, Kenya

  • Maarit Rossi, Finland

  • Michael Soskil, USA

  • Kazuya Takahashi, Japan

It is amazing to see that, out of the nine countries listed above, seven are countries where the Eco-Schools programme is implemented and led by committed teachers and National Operators.

Janet Hayward, a headteacher from Wales, was one of the top 50 finalists which we wrote about in our News section on the website.

Principal of Eco-Schools in Wales nominated for the Global Teacher Prize

We hope that in the future we will even see teachers from Eco-Schools all around the world being nominated for this prize.

 

The Climate Education Week

A message from Karena Mary Ruggiero, new Director of Education at Earth Day Network:

Dear all,

I am excited to introduce myself. My name is Karena and I am the new Director of Education at Earth Day Network! With monumental changes in education policy and global climate change legislation on the horizon, this is an incredible time to be working towards our common goal of environmental and climate literacy for all.

Earth Day Network’s 2nd Annual
Climate Education Week starts on April 18th! Leading up to Earth Day, April 22nd, educators across the country will take the time to focus their classrooms and programmes on teaching students about the growing environmental concerns facing our world. The Climate Education Week Toolkit offers great classroom-ready, free lesson plans for grades K-4, 6-8, and 9-12. They focus on water issues, climate change, and this year’s Earth Day theme - trees! Please take a look at some of the great resources on the website.

In the following weeks, we will continue to add new resources including
short videos and service learning projects, as well as more lesson plans.

Check back frequently, but start planning your
Climate Education Week now!

I’d love to hear what you and your school or district are planning for Climate Education Week! Please email me about your plans at
ruggiero@earthday.org. If you or your school are planning a tree planting, cleanup, festival, or a different Earth Day Event, be sure to register it online to get the word out to your community!

Sincerely,
Karena Mary Ruggiero
Director of Education
Earth Day Network

ruggiero@earthday.org

'Education as a Driver for Sustainable Development Goals' Conference in India

January 11-13 2016 saw FEE member, the Centre for Environment Education, organise an international conference on Education as a Driver for Sustainable Development Goals in partnership with UNESCO, UNEP and the Government of India. Ian Humphreys, CEO of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful represented FEE at the conference, which took place in Ahmedabad, India. 

The conference follows the launch in September 2015 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals following a global consultation.  One of the goals is Quality Education.  However, this conference focused on developing education in its broadest sense (including training and capacity building, communication, raising public awareness and formal education at all levels) as a cross-cutting theme relevant to all the goals.  It is now accepted that policy instruments and technological solutions are insufficient to alone achieve sustainable development. 

Strong emphasis was placed on giving the world’s 1.8bn young people, who will have to deal with the impacts of an older generation’s decisions, a louder voice and more of a say.  The pupil led Eco-Schools programme was recognised as already supporting this approach globally.  Presentations were delivered on Eco-Schools and EcoCampus at four workshops during the conference and demonstrated a clear route through the formal education system for supporting young people in bringing about lasting change not just to the physical environment but also in terms of behaviour change. 

“It was horizon expanding” said Ian Humphreys. “Very productive and positive, despite the colossal issues we face.” 

Eco-Schools gave a very positive sense of hope in this conference.  Pupil led, hands-on and practical in nature, global and growing in scale, it supports young people in posing questions and challenging the status quo, seeking answers from multiple dimensions.  It also supports critical reflection in our young people and develops an ethos of wanting to learn, to make change happen and to be part of that change.

Beyond COP21 Symposium launched in Dubai

The first of a global series of Symposia was organised and facilitated by Target4Green in Dubai on 16th January 2016 at GEMS Kindergarten Starters, to learn about taking a more sustainable path and understand more deeply the implications of COP21 and the SDGs.

Over 200 students from 7 schools attended the full day of presentations, team-building and performances. Experts on sustainability took part in speeches and practical activities.

Here some of the students talk about their experience.

Maryam Yaseen Khan: GEMS Winchester School Dubai

This day had really increased my level of curiosity, responsibility and teamwork. We met companies with genius ideas contributing to solutions of global issues.

Sara Wael:  The Westminster School, Dubai

The first and the main thing I have learned is that respecting others is very important. The second is that, in order to reach our goal or aim in life, we should not only be good at academics, but also should have good behaviour. Being ignorant of the behaviour will definitely have negative impacts on our world.

Ashitha Manoj: Delhi Private School, Sharjah

Being in the workshop was a lot of fun and we learnt about 17 different sustainable development goals (SDGs). We had activities like building a tower from newspaper and bottles, mind mapping on these SDGs, charades and listening to eco-friendly companies.

The event was covered in the national media through Khaleej Times, 7 DAYS and Gulf Today. See link: http://gulftoday.ae/portal/539f8faf-cc69-47f3-b091-af7876689085.aspx

The Beyond COP 21 initiatives, including the Symposium, have attracted interest from schools globally.

A Conference Organised & Run by Students! The 2016 Student Technology Conference

The second annual Student Technology Conference, a free one-day online event bringing together students, educators and innovators from around the world, will be held Saturday, January 30, 2016 from 9 Am to 9 Pm EST. We invite all to attend!

The Student Technology Conference provides an international forum for the presentation, discussion and sharing of educational technology in schools and other academic settings. This conference, by students in grades 6-12 as well as colleges and universities and for all, is committed to:

  • Fostering a better understanding of how students use technology in education and to engage students, teachers and administrators in a conversation about technology.
  • Assisting teachers and administrators in understanding how students use technology both in and out of the classroom.
  • Strengthening the relationship between students, teachers and administrators about technology in the curriculum.

Last year’s conference featured more than twenty general sessions and four keynote addresses from all over the world with over 500 participants!

If you haven't joined us before, this is an amazing, engaging, collaborative, worldwide event that you will want to be a part of. You can join us for just for one session, or for every session! Even if you miss a session, they are all recorded so you can watch them later!


Attending: You can join us anywhere you have an Internet connection, and the schedule of sessions is published in each of the time zones in the world. Just find your time zone, find the sessions taking place, and click right into the ones you want to join. You can also import the entire calendar (Google) into your own calendar, or add selected sessions to your personal calendar to be sure that you don't miss them.

Presenting: For those interested in presenting (and we encourage teachers and students around the world to do so, even if for the first time), the call for proposals is now open! The final date to submit a proposal is Saturday, January 23, 2016. Click HERE for more information and to submit your proposal.

Volunteering: One of the best parts of this conference is the incredible volunteer effort to help new (and sometimes seasoned!) presenters. Volunteers gather throughout the whole conference in a special virtual lounge and work to make sure that presenters and attendees are given help whenever they need it. Our volunteers are an elite group of global helpers--come find out why they say being a volunteer moderator is the most fun you can have at the conference. More HERE.

The Community: A significant bonus to attending the Student Technology Conference is joining the conference community of students and educators from around the world.

Great Keynotes: Who better to keynote the Student Technology Conference than students. We have a great set of keynote speakers this year, including the Young Hackers of New York City and Coco Kaleel from veryhappyrobot.com. More keynotes will be announced after the holidays!

Sponsors: We've got a devoted and most-appreciated set of sponsors who make this conference possible (and keep it free!). Our special thanks to Marymounyt School of New York, University School of Milwaukee, Westhampton Middle School, Lauriston Girls’ School and others who support our conference. And there's still time to join this illustrious group and help support our event! Email steve@hargadon.com.

Help Promote the Conference: We can really use your help to share the conference with your colleagues, associates, friends, family, and the world. Show your pride with a presenter, volunteer, sponsor, partner, or advisory board member badge.

Send a Tweet: “#stutechconf2016 is coming! Submit to present or register to attend, all free, all online, 6th year of this great event http://www.studenttechnologyconference.com/

We sure hope you will join us! See you online,

Ana Sophia, Gaby, Eunice, Anne, and Sydney
Conference Co-Coordinators (we're all students)
2016 Student Technology Conference

Visit The Global Education Conference Network at: http://www.globaleducationconference.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

 

 

Target4Green Educational Consultancy and Training

 

Target4Green Educational Consultancy and Training is a specialized, hands-on, community centered company dedicated to supporting schools across the world in their Education for Sustainable Development as well as working with companies in the creation and initiation of effective educational and CSR Programmes.

Target4Green brings all elements of sustainability together in thought-provoking and dynamic ways through practical workshops, seminars, team building, presentations and experiential learning opportunities.

 

Target4Green was founded by Peter Milne, a former teacher with over 20 years’ experience and in-depth knowledge of British and IB Curricula. Throughout his career in the UK, Malaysia and Dubai, Peter took on dedicated roles that developed and enhanced Environmental Education and Outdoor Learning opportunities.

In 2012, as Environment/Eco-Schools Coordinator at Raffles World Academy, Dubai, the school achieved Green Flag.

From September 2012, Peter has worked as an Environmental Education Consultant/Trainer and, through the success achieved in the UAE, formed Target4Green Educational Consultancy and Training Ltd upon his return to the UK.

 

More information and contact details at: http://www.target4green.com/

Erasmus+ 2016 - Grants to courses and conferences

The Erasmus+ Programme Guide and Call for Proposals for 2016 is out with more than €1.85 billion in funding available. Find more information on the call, the guide, and what has changed since 2015 in the Guide.

The Erasmus+ Programme Guide 2016 (pdf) and the 2016 Erasmus+ Call for Proposals were published by the European Commission on 22 October 2015. The Programme guide provides information on:

  • the priorities of the programme
  • the actions supported
  • the funding available for different actions
  • detailed information on participation

The Programme Guide is currently only available in English, although other language versions will be published soon. Organisations are invited to submit applications online to the National Agency in the relevant country or to the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). The 2016 online application forms and related documents are currently being prepared by the Commission and will be available on websites of either the National Agencies or the EACEA, depending on the actions concerned.

For mobility (Erasmus+ KA1) - in other words participation in courses and conferences in the academic year 2016/2017 or later - the deadline for application for grants is at noon on 2 February 2016.

Erasmus+ Programme Guide

 

School education gateway: Erasmus+ A practical guide for school leaders

How can Erasmus+ funding be used to improve teaching and learning in my school? What professional development opportunities can we offer our teachers through Erasmus+? The answers can be found in the new Erasmus+ guide for school leaders.

The guide is designed for school leaders (head teachers, school principals, team leader, coordinators, etc) who want to know what the Erasmus+ programme has to offer in the fields of pre-primary, primary and secondary education.

The first section of the guide outlines the benefits schools can derive from applying for Erasmus+ and reviews the opportunities available within the programme, namely staff mobility and strategic partnerships. This section also explores the advantages of linking up with other schools online through eTwinning.

The second sections provides step-by-step advice on developing a successful Erasmus+ application, finding the right European partners and building upon the experience of different schools. This section also offers real project examples to inspire school leaders, help generate ideas and showcase what can be accomplished through Erasmus+.

The guide is available online in English (coming soon: French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish).

Source: School Education Gateway

Go to the website for the Guide

 

Articles taken from The Learning Teacher Newsletter