Getting them green at schools

Rajendran (second from right) and councillors launching the Penang Green School Awards in Komtar. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

IN an effort to promote environmental awareness and sustainable practices in the education sphere, Penang Green Council (PGC) has set an ambitious target of engaging 200 schools in the upcoming edition of Green School Award.

PGC senior officer C. Ashawani said 19 schools on the island and 14 on the mainland have registered for the annual competition.

“Last year, just over 100 schools from all over the state took part.

“This year, we expect about 200 to join,” she told The Star after the launch of the Green School Award (island section) programme at Komtar.

Ashawani said during the launch, 76 schools from Penang island attended the ceremony and were briefed by PGC officers on how to register via its portal.

After registration, she said the participants had to answer questions and complete a self assessment before July 31.

The respective local councils would arrange for a site audit from August to September for the district level competition, she added.

Ashawani said if a school was shortlisted for an award, a second site audit would be carried out between October and December for the state-level competition.

The Green School Award serves as a platform to encourage schools in Penang to adopt eco-friendly initiatives and instil environmental consciousness among students.

By participating, schools not only contribute to a greener future but also foster a culture of environmental stewardship.

It is also a pivotal opportunity to educate and empower the younger generation on environmental challenges.

Participating schools will have the chance to showcase their efforts in various eco-friendly practices, ranging from waste reduction and recycling programmes to energy conservation initiatives and green landscaping projects.

The competition encourages schools to innovate and implement sustainable solutions that could be integrated into daily school operations.

Earlier, Penang Island mayor Datuk A. Rajendran said the organisation of the competition, now in its 13th year, had been assigned to Penang Island City Council (MBPP).

Despite having to postpone the competition for two years in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he said it returned with a bang in 2022 and 2023 and received positive response.

“A total of 44 schools participated in 2022 while in 2023, a total 52 schools in the island participated in the competitions,” said Rajendran in his opening speech.

He said there were five main prizes for both primary and secondary schools, and four special awards for Waste Management, Cleanliness and Greening, Innovation and Creativity, as well as Digital Engagement.

One school will receive an additional prize for Best Video Report for the Green School Awards Competition at the state-level competition.

Penang Green School Award programme is an annual environmental audit programme for all schools in Penang (except for international schools), in collaboration with MBPP and Seberang Perai City Council.

The programme was launched by the state government in 2010.

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