DENR sets awarding of top eco-friendly schools

November 8, 2011 11:14 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 8 — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will spearhead in Metro Manila on November 16 this year the awarding of nine learning institutions that won the second nationwide search for sustainable and eco-friendly schools.

The winning schools will be recognized for having the best sustainable environment-related initiatives.

"Through this search, we hope to encourage more schools to go green," said Elenida Basug, DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) environmental education and information division chief.

She said the awarding ceremony at SM North EDSA's Activity Center will begin at 2 p.m.

Metrobank Network of Outstanding Teachers and Educators immediate past president Dr. Felicitas Pado is scheduled to present the award for the elementary level national champion.

Department of Education (DepEd) Bureau of Secondary Education Dir. Dr. Lolita Andrada and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Commissioner William Medrano are expected to present the award to the high school and college national champions, respectively.

DENR-EMB, DepEd, CHED and telecommunications giant Smart Communications Inc. partnered in conducting the search, believing schools are vehicles for change.

"The school population, comprising of students as well as teaching and non-teaching personnel, constitute a sizeable percentage of the national population – as such, any program focused on advocacy and other multi-faceted programs of activities done within the school system, especially relating to environmental concerns, need to be documented, encouraged and recognized," the partners said.

Basug said national winners in the elementary, high school and college categories will receive cash prizes and trophies.

Earlier, proponents of the search announced the national champion in each category will receive a prize of P50,000.

They also said a prize of P40,000 awaits the second placer in each category.

A prize of P30,000 will go to the third placer in each category, they added.

Authorities concerned will announce the winning schools' names in due time.

Basug said a board of judges screened elementary schools, high schools and colleges that emerged as the search's regional winners to determine the 2011 national winners.

Fourteen elementary schools, 16 high schools and 15 colleges comprise the batch of 2011 regional winners in the search, DENR reported.

Each of such regional winners received P10,000 and a trophy, Basug said.

She said posters showing the regional and national winners' respective environmental initiatives will be displayed at the Activity Center from Nov. 13 to 17.

"People can study those initiatives for possible replication," she said.

Criteria for evaluating sustainability and eco-friendliness of institutions that joined the search are environment-related aspects of the school's policy (20 points), environmental dimensions of school operations (30 points), environment-related features of the school curriculum (30 points), presence of vibrant co-organizations on campus (10 points) and presence of environmental partners and linkages in various programs/projects (10 points).

DENR and its partners launched the search in 2009.

The first batch of eco-friendly schools that emerged as national champions in such search are Penablanca East Central School in Cagayan (elementary category), La Castellana High School in Negros Occidental province (high school category) and Palawan State University in Palawan province (college category).

Earlier, DENR said promoting the program on establishing and/or strengthening sustainable and eco-friendly schools is among priorities in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Environmental Education Plan for 2008-2012.

The roadmap for implementing Republic Act 9512 (Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008) likewise calls for promoting the program, DENR added. (PNA)

LDV/CJT/mec

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