A Korean green schools initiative is set to teach Indonesian kids how to better protect their environment.
Student-led environmental group Daejayon signed a pact Wednesday with the education department of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta to form a green schools network across the two countries.
A Seoul Heung-in Elementary School student and a Daejayon member make a presentation on the Green School Initiative. (Kirsty Taylor)
Daejayon, which means “great nature” in Korean and has 2,100 members, has been running various campaigns including the Green Schools Initiative in Korea.
University student volunteers have been helping various schools to become more environmentally aware and to safeguard the planet’s future.
Their work has included teaching kids about the threats of climate change around the world ― including rising sea levels and an increase in natural disasters. And Korean kids have been learning how to protect their world for the future through recycling and energy-saving initiatives both in class and at home.
Director of Education for Jakarta, Dr. Taufik Yudi Mulyanto (Kirsty Taylor)
On Tuesday Director of Education for Jakarta Dr. Taufik Yudi Mulyanto visited Seoul Heung-in Elementary School on Daejayon’s invitation to learn what work was being done there.
Students at the school, which has been practicing the green initiative for two years now, gave him a presentation on their environmental work.
Taufik also met school president Seo Hyo-sun and asked him about the programs and activities being run there.
“It is very interesting because we have to learn to preserve our environment,” Taufik said.
Jakarta has about 3,000 elementary schools, and Taufik wishes to help educate students from elementary to college level to protect the country’s environmental future.
“In Jakarta we have to protect our environment because now Jakarta may be like Seoul was many years ago. We know that with students, especially elementary school students, is where we need to start. This is why we are interested in green schools.
“The Green Schools Initiative is a great opportunity to give information to them so that they can replicate it in their daily life ― in school and maybe in their homes.”
Heung-in Elementary School president Seo said that his students had been taught about the seriousness of climate change and some of the actions that they can take to prevent it. The school’s green lessons had focused on conservation of nature, using non-toxic substances and conservation of the ecosystem.
“In order to have a better life we need a greener earth,” Seo added. “We need to inscribe this in our hearts, and from childhood we must have education about our environment for school and home life. Environmental education at this school is the basic education of our life.”
Daejayon will now share its experiences of setting up green school campuses with Jakarta schools, and hopes to branch out to other countries’ schools in the future.
Also speaking at the environmental seminar on Wednesday, Daejayon president Kim Yong-gap said: “The world is getting hotter and even now we have early summer weather in Korea. We also hear the news of natural disasters and the rise in sea levels. Also, we have food crises because of desertification. If we don’t do anything about it, then we won’t have a certain future.
“The crisis of climate change cannot be solved by one person or one community. That must be done by all of us, so it is very important to have education from childhood. I think that we can solve the problems through childhood education and green campus programs. These children will become the teachers and educators of the future.”
By Kirsty Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org