Thu 05-10-2017 14:16 PM

Schools across Ras al-Khaimah rewarded for going green in government initiative

Ras al-Khaimah, 5th October, 2017 (WAM) -- Schools across Ras al-Khaimah will be assessed and graded to measure their commitment to environmentally sustainable practices from the beginning of the 2017/18 academic year, in a pioneering initiative that was announced today.

The new ‘Green Rating’ system for schools is a joint scheme being launched by the Ras al-Khaimah Waste Management Agency, RAKWMA, a subsidiary of the Public Works Department, and the Ras al-Khaimah Education Zone. It aims to ensure that students and teachers across the Emirate are learning more about sustainable environmental practices and developing more proactive and positive responses to environmental issues, through evaluating and grading participating schools based on a set of established criteria.

The schools programme has the blessing and support of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras al-Khaimah, and demonstrates the important connection between education and sustainability, two cornerstones of His Highness’ vision for Ras al-Khaimah.

Janet Hartzenberg, RAKWMA’s Outreach Co-ordinator, said, "The new Green Rating system provides schools with an accepted, standard measure in which they can record their efforts, encouraging the youth to be active participants in protecting the environment in Ras al-Khaimah and to make our schools cleaner and greener."

"We will be evaluating and grading schools to ascertain whether they are participating in environmentally friendly projects and initiatives, and working to gain an understanding of how ‘green’ the schools in Ras al-Khaimah currently are."

"We want students and teachers to be more aware about the decisions that they make in their day to day lives and the effect that they have on their surroundings, whether it’s recycling, reducing the amount of paper they are using, or volunteering in community efforts. All of these actions can and will make a difference, and schools will now be rewarded for their participation."

Participating schools will be assessed on criteria including their registration with the Ras al-Khaimah Waste Management Agency’s recycling programme and their level of participation. A school’s Green Rating can be improved through introducing ‘Green Ambassadors’, implementing and participating in environmental activities such as exhibitions and clean up campaigns. Training and volunteering will also be rewarded.

Evaluations will be shared with schools and gradings given in the form of recycling symbols on an assessment rating certificate. Five symbols will the highest and one the lowest. Schools will then be recognised and rewarded annually for their achievements.

Sumaya Al Hareb, Director of the Ras al-Khaimah Education Zone, said, "We will be visiting schools and universities at the beginning of the school year to introduce students and teachers to the evaluation system and share ideas for improving the school’s environmental contributions throughout the Emirate. We will be encouraging schools to participate fully from the 2017 / 2018 academic year."

Through this evaluation and grading system for schools, RAKWMA is actively encouraging the development of positive, environmentally friendly sustainable waste management practices in students of all ages, and is hoping to create a generation of young people who will truly believe that our environment needs to be protected and that this is the responsibility of each and every citizen and resident.

 

WAM/Chris Moran