POLITICS, NATIONAL, DILI, ENVIRONMENT

EU, Mercy Corps with MEJD, and SoSE strengthen plastic pollution awareness in schools

EU, Mercy Corps with MEJD, and SoSE strengthen plastic pollution awareness in schools

(Photo Tatoli/Filomeno Martins)

DILI, 26 may 2022 (TATOLI) – The European Union (EU) and Mercy Corps, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (SEJD), and the Secretary of State for the Environment (SoSE) jointly launched at Escola Básica Central Esperança da Pátria, Becora, Dili, Timor-Leste’s first syllabus dedicated to raising the awareness of the students on plastic pollution and recycling.

The event marked an important milestone for the Hamenus Lixu Plástiku (HLP) program, which aims at limiting the generation of plastic waste and advancing a civil society organization-inclusive circular economy for a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous Timor-Leste.

Financed by the European Union (EU), HLP is working to enhance the capacity of local civil society organizations (CSOs) and businesses to participate in climate change mitigation initiatives through increased contribution to political, social, and economic actions supporting the establishment of a circular economy.

To drive such a transition in Timor-Leste, children and young adults are a key population segment, and schools are a critical platform to reach them.

Convinced that well-designed behavior change information can empower students to become agents of change within their households and create lifelong advocates for the environment, Mercy Corps and local partner Fundasaun Permakultura Timor Lorosa’e (PERMATIL) joined forces to create the first Timorspecific, extra-curricular syllabus dedicated to plastic awareness.

Acknowledging the power of edutainment in education, the new syllabus was developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Secretary of State for the Environment, to offer engaging tools utilizing recycling and environmental concepts to teach and learn core curriculum skills.

Thanks to a series of marine characters encouraging empathy with the natural world, elementary school students (10-13 years old) will learn more about plastic pollution while building confidence to influence their peers and family members toward the adoption of reducing, reusing, recycling (3R) practices.

In his intervention at the launch event, the Ambassador of the European Union in Timor-Leste, Andrew Jacobs, said ” While it is not intended to change the national curriculum, this new syllabus was designed to offer the secondary school teachers engaging tools using recycling and environmental concepts to teach core curriculum skills.”

He stressed that: the “European Union will work closely with Mercy Corps to assure that this project is successful, and maybe request to the Ministry of Education to implement this extra curriculum activity in other schools.”

“While not intended to change the national curriculum, this new program is designed to provide secondary school teachers with tools that use recycling and environmental concepts to teach core curriculum skills. The European Union will continue to work more closely with Mercy Corps to ensure the success of this project, and perhaps ask the Ministry of Education to implement this extra-curricular activity in other schools,” Jacobs added.

 

Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges 

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