Surabaya- Today we visited a local primary school in Surabaya called SDN PETEMON 13, our aim is to run a presentation based around the topic of water pollution. After a slight hiccup on transportation, we retreated to a local mall before we arrived to our destination via taxi around noon.
The school itself was very impressive, although it was quite a small school for Indonesian standards, the walls were painted with beautiful pictures and art, emphasising the message of social responsibility. Exotic vegetation such as cactuses and ferns were planted strategically outside each classroom, my guess is that it would be the students responsibility to look after them. I was told that the school won numerous awards for being an ‘eco-school’, and rightly so, it is quite evident that the school demonstrated tremendous effort in educating the students about environmental sustainability.
Our colleague Akbar briefed the student on who we were and what we were doing, we did a brief self introduction and set off to explore the surrounding neighbourhood. The Students were divided into two teams, Wen Jun took care of team B and I was in charge of team A. The students themselves were just glad to get out of the classroom and have a little field trip, so they were quite enthusiastic to be under the sun. The school is situated next to an open river system, and it was cluttered with debris, rubbish, plastic and chemical contamination. It came as quite a shock to me to witness a river so polluted, especially when the river runs right next to the school.
After the field trip the students were told to come up with an action plan for the school. To come up with something that will improve the environment and make the school more environmentally friendly. Both team A and B had a brain storming session, and came up with a page long action plan that they will present next week to the other students.
At the end of the session, Wenjun and I both stayed back and chatted with the local students. Like most primary school students anywhere in the world, they were really curious about everything. Using their limited knowledge in English we all shared an interesting conversation on just about everything.
It has been quite a tiring day, but I look forward to visit the kids at that school again.