Educating students on the importance of environmental conservation should begin at the grass root level, according to ASPAM Indian International School. The need of the hour is to build environment-friendly culture and foster earth friendly habits amongst the students from an early stage. Students at ASPAM School are encouraged to actively participate and play an important role in waste reduction and proper recycling of unavoidable waste through the motto of ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’.
“Recent reports state that global temperatures have increased to levels not seen for 115,000 years. This puts tremendous pressure on the global ecosystem. The average temperature in the first six months of 2016 alone was warmer than the pre-industrial era in the late 19th century, a very telling indicator,” stated Poonam Heryani, Head of Academics, ASPAM Indian International School, Sharjah.
The students are enlightened on the effects of global warming on the environment, and subsequent fall-outs such as rising sea levels, extreme weather conditions, swift spread of viral diseases, apart from severe food and water scarcity.
“As educators, we feel a huge responsibility rests on our shoulders, as well as that of parents, to intelligently guide our students on the path to environmental conservation. This forms a very important part of our education process and philosophy because they are the Gen next and will be in charge of important decisions in their personal and professional capacities,” stated Poonam.
“Our students are sensitized to the existence and causes of environmental problems, especially global warming and climate change. Concepts such as the greenhouse effect, that arises from carbon emissions, as well as the role of fossil fuels and various other topics are seamlessly incorporated into the whole learning experience in the classroom,” added added Poonam.
These youngsters are made aware of the consequences of negligent human behavior, whether as basic as the unnecessary usage of plastic bags or more serious mistakes such as disposal of hazardous material like batteries. In order to address the various challenges our students have recognized that collaboration is the key. They have done us proud by working closely and continuously contributing to Bee’ah Initiative.
“Children should be urged to adopt simple environmental practices, which include avoiding plastic bags for shopping and using their own reusable bags, separating waste according to the right categories and encouraging the usage of recycled products. By wholeheartedly supporting and echoing these eco-friendly practices, teachers and parents can ensure that lifelong habits are formed in these youngsters,” added Poonam.
The school believes that investing in such diligent practices can successfully reap benefits in the long run. It also stresses on the role of educational institutions, and the wider community, in guiding students and other young UAE residents on the practical aspects of environmental conservation. One of the main aspects is the issue of responsible waste management.
“People have the notion that most of the waste generated is non-recyclable and therefore, unusable. This myth has to be dispelled at the earliest, and reaching out to students through campaigns and events on effective waste management can go a long way. A consistent theme that we keep reiterating, to be included as part of their daily routine, is that of the 3 ‘R’s- reduce, reuse and recycle,” added Poonam.
“These young students are keen and passionate and they serve as the main source of information within families and their community. Our goal is strengthened by the belief that students across the region, when provided a strong foundation and voice, can make a remarkable difference to society. The onus lies with parents and schools to encourage these young and fertile minds to imbibe sustainable environmental practices for the future,” concluded Poonam.