KATINGAL-AN Elementary School in San Carlos City, with more than 250 students, was shortlisted as one of the top 12 schools with sustainable environmental programs in the 2020 Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (Seameo)-Japan ESD Award on January 30, 2021.
The said contest was participated by 181 schools or institutions in eight Southeast Asian countries. The 2020 search carried the theme, “Addressing Plastic Problems for Transforming Communities.”
Engineer Arthur A. Batomalaque, Integrated Waste Management/Pollution Control Division head of the City Environment Management Office (CEMO), is grateful that the city has produced another international awardee.
He said it is a big recognition not only to the city but also to their office, which has been putting efforts in conducting contests from schools recyclable drives to environmentally sustainable schools.
Batomalaque also encouraged other schools to join in any search may it be local or international to further improve their respective environmental programs.
Wilfredo F. Nemenzo, Katingal-an ES principal, was also thankful for the established programs and the opportunity to participate in the city's annual search, giving the school the advantage to be included in the list.
Katingal-an ES Teacher Ma. Anabelle R. Baybado, School Eliminates Every Plastic (Sweep) Waste Program in-charge, said the strong points that made the school stand out were the objectives of the Katingal-an Elementary School Solid Waste Management Program (KSWMP) and how they implemented the different activities which involved the learners, parents, community and the local government unit.
She added that participating in the contest facilitated by the City Environment Management Office (Cemo) that addressed plastic problems gave them ideas on how to document their entry.
Baybado said they were lucky enough to make it after joining the search for the second time giving their school the opportunity to be one of Seameo’s list of school networks, entitling them to receive assistance or international funds for school projects.
“Our school advocates environment management, there are more projects and programs to be implemented amidst the pandemic with or without the city’s search but still need to be polished as of now,” Baybado also said.
Marissa A. Parreño, KSWMP Coordinator, also said their innovation tagged as “Basura Barter,” wherein recyclable wastes especially plastics found inside their school’s premises are gathered by students in exchange for school supplies, added extra points.
Cemo has been initiating contests annually with criteria focused on environment-related aspects, such as the Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools and Barangays.
The first school that made it to Seameo-Japan search for ESD Award was a mountain barangay school, the Iliranan Elementary School in 2012. (PR)