Kepanjeng Malang- Our today’s assignment got under its way unusually early in the morning. Our pick up was scheduled at 5:30am. Why so early? The city that we were heading to was called Malang, which was approximately 3-hour drive far away from Surabay, thus this early pick up. Our job was to educate students on the topics of water pollution and sources of energy presented by Michael and Wenjun and teachers on the topic more related to their employment, which was environmental education. Right from the beginning I really have to say that this school and the people to whom I presented just made my day. Let’s have a deeper insight into what actually happened and in what way this highly positive experience was going.
After our arrival, we were given a very warm welcome in the principal’s office followed by a short chat about the school. Compulsory refreshment was certainly present and to my surprise it was actually the best refreshment I have ever had since I arrived to Indonesia. These little miracles looked like small, rounded shaped objects with a dash of coconut on it wrapped up in a banana leaf. Initially I was a bit suspicious, but once I tasted and found out what it was like, I kept stealing them. These little miracles were just amazing! When these miracles had been gone, we all set off for a little tour through this school.
At first sight, I immediately noticed how green this school’s environment was. Not only that, it was also very well maintained, organized and everything was very neatly placed in its own position. Even the parking space for motorcycles and bikes was just so nicely arranged. Every bike had its own position; driving ways were so neatly maintained and kept accessible as opposed to other schools where one cannot comprehend how they can actually stock so many bikes on one place. This just proves how serious these guys are when it comes to environment and commitments to keep it that way.
As a matter of fact students are actually forced to be committed towards environment even further; as I was told, every single student looks after a tree that has been planted right by this student. This fact further propels and encourages students to be responsible and committed to what they do, but on the other hand they also can see how difficult it is to plant a tree and how much time it takes. Thus they are gradually becoming aware that to build up something takes much longer in direct comparison with the otherwise.
As I was further told, these students receive certain rewards if everything is going according to their action plan, however they also can be punished if anything does not go in line with their expectations. Well, in doing so there is much room created for proper motivation, which is certainly fueled by the former. The direct result of this school’s effort is thus more than obvious, this school looks very much green. It is definitely the greenest school I have seen since I began my work with Tunas Hijau.
After this introductory tour we all moved into a conference room to give our proper introduction and then to commence our “presentation” tour. When all involved had introduced themselves, Michael and Wenjun moved into another conference room where their two presentations were taking place. I remained in the same conference room; since my audience was consisted of the local teachers we certainly needed a big room with proper equipment in order to do an appropriate job.
My presentation delineated the topic “how to commence environmental education” with a particular European perspective. My audience seemed to be vastly interested in what I was talking about and every time when I gave some space for questions, they did not hesitate to ask targeted questions, which always pleases me. To my great pleasure, I happened to obtain three really good English teachers amongst my audience who were actually able to discuss certain things with me.
Well, this is not always the case, albeit there are always some English teachers, they are not able to communicate fluently. Another proof that this school is serious in everything what it does. Throughout my entire presentation there were no unexpected difficulties and I was really satisfied with how it was going. If only there were more schools like this one in Mallang.
When all our presentations came to an end, we all moved onto the most important deed in the entire day, which was lunch. This school organized a great lunch-afternoon break with a great variety of food. I have to admit that this lunch was just a big surprise. It was very tasty in a very friendly and green environment with wonderful people and, in addition, it was eat as much as you can, which is even better. When this crucial moment of this day was over, we all took several group photos with local teachers followed by signing the certificates that were going to be handed over to those teachers who participated in our presentations.
After a couple of minutes we were ready to set off for the return 3-hour journey back to Surabaya. Throughout the entire journey back to Surabaya it was unfortunately raining, as usually, and therefore it took a bit longer than expected. However, our driver, Atiff, has an exceptional ability to drive as fast as Michael Schumacher irrespective of either rainy or sunny conditions. Fortunately, we made it to Surabaya in one piece.
To conclude this remarkable day, I have to state that this school is doing a great job regarding environmental education. To compare and evaluate effort of European schools and this school that I visited today, I am pretty sure that this school could easily beat some European schools when it comes to matters such as awareness, commitments, sustainability and responsibility. This school is just the right substance and has the correct ingredients that are needed towards future positive environmental education.