Gov’t expands criteria for eco-friendly schools search PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 January 2013 14:32

Authorities will use two additional criteria in evaluating entries in the 2013 national search for sustainable and eco-friendly primary, secondary and tertiary public and private schools nationwide.

“In keeping with recent initiatives of UNESCO for the 2005-2014 UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, the following criteria shall be introduced: socio-cultural sustainability and economic sustainability,” said Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) which holds the search every two years.
EMB gave five points for each of the new criteria.

“Education for sustainable development centers on awareness of sustainable development issues, enhancing knowledge, influencing values and attitudes and encouraging responsive behavior and learning that leads to action,” EMB said.

Other criteria for evaluating entries in the 2013 search are sustainability aspects of a school’s policy (10 points), environmental dimensions of its operations (30 points), environment-related features of curriculum being used (30 points), on-campus presence of active eco-organizations (10 points) as well as existence of environmental partners and linkages in such institution’s various programs, projects and activities (10 points).

“Sustainable and eco-friendly schools may be described as environment-friendly schools that have initiated and integrated in their instruction, research, extension and/or administration, programs which are environment-related,” EMB noted.

EMB is reminding schools nationwide that deadline for submission of entries is on March 15 this year.

Top entries in the primary, secondary and tertiary school categories will be forwarded to EMB’s central office in Metro Manila for national judging.

Elementary and high school entries should be submitted directly to respective Department of Education (DepEd) division offices while college entries should be submitted to the nearest EMB regional office, the agency noted.

“Entries must be submitted in three hard copies and online (www.sustainableschools.ph) or email your entry forms to ecofriendlyschools@gmail.com,” EMB continued.

In 2009, EMB and its mother agency Department of Environment and Natural Resources launched the search as a program with DepEd, Commission on Higher Education and telecommunications giant SMART Communications, Inc. as partners.

“The school system is a vital part of our basic learning and is seen as a powerful vehicle for change,” EMB noted. “The school population constitutes a sizeable percentage of the national population. 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.”

EMB also said the bid for eco-friendly schools is among priorities of the 2008-2012 ASEAN Environmental Education Action Plan and is in line with the roadmap for implementing Republic Act 9512 (Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008).

For the 2013 search, EMB said national winners in the primary, secondary and tertiary categories will each receive P50,000 as first prize, P40,000 as second prize and P30,000 as third prize.

“Winners will also receive plaques of recognition,” EMB said.

The search’s national winners will be awarded in November during this year’s celebration of National Environmental Awareness Month.

Respective entries of such winners will be exhibited that month as well.

EMB’s new partners One Meralco Foundation and food giant Nestle will also give out special awards.

Meralco’s energy leadership award aims to recognize schools that promote practices and initiatives on electrical safety as well as in energy efficiency and conservation.

Nestle’s water leadership award targets recognizing and promoting school-based solutions, practices and initiatives on water conservation and management.

Top national winners in the 2009 search were Peñablanca East Central School in Cagayan (primary school categtory), La Castellana National High School in Negros

Occidental (secondary school category) and Palawan State University in Palawan (tertiary school category).

Negros Occidental province’s Iliranan Elementary School as well as Camarines Sur National High School and De La Salle University-Dasmariñas emerged as national winners of the 2011 search, EMB added.