EAD Sustainable Schools Initiative Transforms Student Behavior Across the Emirate
WAM Abu Dhabi, June 9, 2012 (WAM)-- Fourteen Schools of the government and private schools, which participated in the Sustainable Schools Initiative (SSI) for this academic year, have been recognised with 24 awards by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) for achieving a holistic and a sustainable outcome this academic year.
The winners were honored at the Sustainable Schools Awards Ceremony 2011-2012 organised last Wednesday by EAD at the Rocco Forte Hotel in the presence of Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Director General of Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC); Dr Jaber Al Jaberi, Deputy Secretary General of EAD and Mr. Abdulkarim Al Mazmi, General Manager and Chief Representative for BP UAE.
EAD has been implementing the Sustainable Schools Initiative (SSI) for the third consecutive year in collaboration with ADEC and with sponsorship from BP. The initiative aims to assess and address their school's environmental impacts, empower students through establishing and running eco clubs, develop teachers' capacity through training, and expose students to experiential learning through hands-on educating field trips.
Since it was launched, SSI has gained positive feedback from government and private schools in Abu Dhabi. After the pilot phase was successfully completed, the number of participating schools increased from 26 schools in 2009 to 103 schools in this academic year.
As part of the initiative, 627 teachers were targeted by EAD through 14 trainings and 2 workshops organised during this academic year to educate teachers on how to use innovative techniques while teaching environmental concepts. The training covered topics like biodiversity, water and climate change.
Through SSI, 70 schools organised 768 environmental field trips at various locations in the Emirate, in which 22,336 students were given the opportunity to experience the environment and thus understand why they need to care for nature.
Schools and students were judged on the effectiveness of their Eco Club, which provides them with a platform to reach out to their parents and the neighborhood community about environmental issues. Schools and students were also judged on how accurately they conducted green audits in their schools and much energy and water they conserved.
Teachers were judged on their implementation of innovative teaching methods, how best they applied the training methods delivered to them by EAD and how much experience students have had with nature through the outdoor field trips. A panel consisting of experts from EAD and ADEC visited each school to shortlist the finalists.
Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Director General of Abu Dhabi Education Council, said that "ADEC seeks to promote the concept of sustainable environment in Abu Dhabi schools by launching and implementing a number of environmental initiatives and programmes. This comes in line with ADEC strategy to provide students with attractive school environment that enhances their abilities and improves the educational outcomes. We are keen to ensure our schools meet the highest sustainable environmental standards in accordance with the best international and contemporary practices." "The sustainable Schools Initiative is one of the projects that support the Education Sector Environment, Health and Safety Management System requirements implemented across Abu Dhabi schools, where its activities help instill the concepts of preserving environment and rationalizing consumption. This will enable us to achieve a sustainable learning environment that would best enhance student health and safety. It will also allow students to be more responsible, aware and capable of dealing with their environmental resource challenges", added Dr. Al-Khaili.