Today’s working day was sort of crazy; it started with a short visit of the smallest ECO School in Indonesia, continued with a visit of one school outside of Surabaya and all this trip was concluded with a 5-min conversation stop in one school, where a big workshop regarding environmental education is going to take place soon.
Well, each visit was really interesting to some extent. Let’s start with the first visit of the smallest ECO School in Indonesia, SDN Petemon 13 Surabaya, a primary school. I was actually an eyewitness when this school obtained a gift package form a partner school in Japan. A number of schools in Indonesia are linked with some other schools around the world to discuss environmental issues, to send each other some presents and to exchange some cultural experience or traditional symbols and icons of their countries.
It was very pleasing to see how those kids were excited to open that package on behalf of the director of Tunas Hijau and me. The atmosphere was fulfilled with their excitement and we were more than happy to observe that. After a short descriptive talk we left this wonderful and clean ECO School for another job at another school.
The second stop represented a more comprehensive job for us to accomplish. The school is SD Hang Tuah 10 Sidoarjo. We actually arrived to discuss, evaluate and assess how they handle rubbish management and also how we are going to structure our environmental education at this school over a next few weeks. Whilst Ronnie was discussing some paper work issues, I had a short tour through the school to observe the way in which all the environmental issues are handled. Honestly, suffice it to say that I was not pleased at all.
Rubbish separation is not in place at all; students even think that it is useless or that they handle rubbish appropriately. Right behind the school there was a big dumping spot very close to a small stream. Obviously water pollution and related issues are not familiar to them either. These students are not even led to any basic energy saving procedures such as turning lights off whenever possible etc.
Another interesting fact was, that behind the school there was a large piece of land that is not used for any particular purpose. This school could organize some compost activities to actually demonstrate basic biological principles to students and also to show them that to biodegrade some artificial stuff takes decades as opposed to nature stuff. This would represent a great deed to change their mind. However, on the other hand, there are some valuable deeds done as well, each classroom is responsible for a certain piece of school’s garden to take care of it and to plant trees and other forms of plants.
Despite that, when I asked students what this represents, they were unable to answer; they simply do not know any reason why they do it. This lack of knowledge is crucial in contra productive effort. Pertinent awareness needs to be established at this school with regard to energy consumption, rubbish management and other related matters.
The third visit was a very short one just to discuss a workshop that is going to take place the next weekend. It’s SDN Perak Barat Surabaya. Next Saturday was agreed as the day for this valuable and long workshop where the main participators will be from surrounding schools. Honestly, for this short discussions and other similar purpose we humans have invented mobile phones or emails. Since we had to travel a bit more in order to get into area and Indonesian weather is so unpredictable, all of these resulted in getting drenched to the core. It was cool to some extent, but we had better organize our time more effectively next time to avoid that.