Thursday, December 21, 2006

Foundations encourage schools to go green

Thursday, December 21, 2006
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Four high schools in Greater Jakarta have integrated green and energy-efficient practices into their learning and teaching processes, thanks to the support of two foundations concerned about environmental issues.

Islamic vocational high school SMK Al Muslim in Bekasi, private vocational high school SMK Wikrama in Bogor, state high school No. 13 in South Jakarta, and state high school No. 69 in Kepulauan Seribu have each received Rp 25 million from the Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation (KEHATI) and the Coca-Cola Foundation (CCF) to run their environmental programs.

"We hope that environmental issues, which are becoming increasingly more complex, also become a youth concern," Christien Ismuranty from KEHATI said Tuesday.

"We hope schools adopt a perspective on the environment and approach their management and curriculum from that perspective," she added.

KEHATI and CCF held in 2005 a competition to select high schools that were models in their communities for healthy, safe and environmentally sound practices. The four schools beat out 16 other competitors.

Under the Go Green School program, KEHATI and CCF, along with a number of other NGOs, help schools integrate a range of issues like energy conservation and recycling into their curriculum.

After a year, SMK Wikrama Bogor was selected as the best model and received another Rp 10 million to finance its green program.

The emphasis on environmental friendliness spurred SMK Wikrama to stock nutritious food in its canteen -- including vegetables grown in the schoolyard -- save money by reducing consumption and energy costs, increase the protection of natural resources and better manage its garbage.

The other three model schools practiced pollution prevention, recycling, energy efficiency and waste reduction, as well as introducing modules on coral transplantation and seaweed cultivation.

Christien said the schools were selected because of their commitment and creativity in internalizing environmental values in their management. Schools with different advantages and facilities were selected. For example, SMK Al Muslim is a private school with great facilities, while the one in Kepulauan Seribu is a state school with limited facilities.

"Being a green school does not necessarily depend on facilities and location. Wherever you are, however limited your resources, you can do something. That is our message," Christien said.

Titie Sadarini, CCF chief executive, said the foundation had given Rp 500 million to the KEHATI foundation, which will coordinate the program for four years beginning in 2004.

The Go Green School program has also encouraged the National Education Ministry and the State Ministry for the Environment to bring in an award scheme for green schools called Andiwiyata. (02)

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