After 16 days of no work, I finally went out to visit 2 elementary schools in Malang with Nizam. My first job of the year was to look around the schools and point out their environment-related problems, which I absolutely have no idea why they think a mere university student majoring in liberal arts is capable of doing. Once again it made me think how much these people tend to overestimate foreigners and anything foreign.
Anyway the first school we visited today was SDN Pandanwangi 1. Because I wanted to live up to their high expectation, I took the job seriously and tried to find any flaw of “the healthiest school of the year 2009”. It was very clean indeed. The first thing that caught my eye was a number of big and small trees, making the school green enough to be a pretty nice park. It was also very impressive that there are water basins here and there in the school ground, especially because one of the toughest thing I had to get used to was not having enough places to wash hands.
However, when I pumped the hand soap bottle, all I got from it was water. Besides green moss was growing inside the bottle, indicating that the soap has not been in use for quite long time. There was no soap bottle at all, in 2 of all 6 basins. Another thing I carefully looked at was the recycling system. Fortunately the school had colorful sets of trash cans saying organic and non-organic waste, but when I opened it, trashes were mixed.
I also noticed a few kids throwing small trashes like candy sticks. But all and all, problems were minimal, and the school was very environment-friendly. It was nice to see drums to make compost, a field for organic vegetables, and a room where students grow mushrooms inside the school.
We also dropped by SDN Dinoyo 2 but could not see around because of the absence of the principal.