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  Channel NewsAsia 6 Nov 07
NEA to offer Environmental Education modules to more schools

SINGAPORE: Among its various initiatives to raise awareness on today’s pressing environmental challenges, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has partnered schools to develop Environmental Education modules to educate our young on issues such as global warming and climate change.

Having already been rolled out in four schools- Commonweath Secondary, Marsiling Secondary, Nanyang Girls’ and Nan Hua High, NEA is looking into working with these schools to develop similar courses for other schools.

Speaking at the opening of this year’s Clean & Green Singapore Schools’ (CGS) Carnival, Dr Amy Khor, Senior Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry for the Environment and Water said adopting habits to protect our environment should be cultivated at a young age.

“Global challenges such as climate change, the shortage of potable water and the depletion of natural resources have highlighted the urgent need for sustainable development. There is no better way to meet these challenges than to get more people to adopt environmentally-friendly practices as a way of life. We will achieve a greater chance of success if we start raising awareness and cultivating an environmentally-friendly lifestyle from young,” said Dr Khor.

Since 2006, secondary one students at Marsiling Secondary underwent a 30-hour environmental educational module on water management as part of their curriculum and the programme has been extended to secondary two students this year who are learning about factors that impact air quality and ways to prevent air pollution.

Meanwhile, Mrs Annie Lim, teacher-in-charge of the Green Club at Commonwealth Secondary School, said that the "Water" module of the Environmental Education curriculum for Secondary 1 students, helped them to adopt a green mindset and lifestyle.

"The students are now more aware of the strategic importance of water and the repercussions of not saving and conserving water. They also realise how vulnerable Singapore is, and have learnt about the appropriate technologies available to sustain our water supply. They are more observant of what is happening in the school environment and willingly step forward to provide suggestions on ways to improve it. Moreoever, they are very enthusiastic about taking up green projects next year and mentoring their juniors in these projects," said Mrs Lim.

This annual CGS carnival also showcased joint environmental projects by schools and their corporate partners from the NEA Corporate & School Partnership Programme (CASP). Under (CASP) participating corporations act as mentors to their adopted schools, facilitate training attachments and conduct tours of their companies and plants. Resources and funding are also provided for the schools’ environmental programmes and projects which are exhibited at the Schools Carnival where the best projects are selected to compete in the “Environment Project Competition”.

Among the winning projects this year is one by Princess Elizabeth Primary School and Fujitsu Microelectronics Asia Pte Ltd who have developed an eco-friendly aquarium that requires minimal maintenance and reduces water usage. They came up with a system which enables the water in the aquarium to be changed once every two years compared with once in two months previously, with the use of a unique filtration system that uses bacteria to clean up the waste in the tank.

Another winning entry successfully tested earthworms as an alternative to chemical fertilizers.

This year saw some 175 schools from pre-school to pre-tertiary levels, participating in build-up activities for the Carnival, an increase of 45 per cent compared to last year.

Related articles on Singapore: general environmental issues
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