Surabaya- This Monday our environmental mission got under its way at one very close school to our office. It’s SDN Medokan Semampir Surabaya. We actually do not have to ride a bike, we can walk there since it is just 10min on foot. Since we are an environmental office, we have to encourage other people to save transport etc. and since it is so close, we decided to walk.
Immediately when we appeared in the school’s square, we grabbed attention of all kids who were running around whilst waiting for their lessons to commence. Well, we actually came here to demonstrate to them how compost can be created and in what way it can represent a benefit to us. We met the principal who briefed us in terms of some school’s problems and difficulties. To our surprise, we were told that there was actually no tap water and students had to deal with that accordingly. Well, I can not dare imagine what would happen in an European school if they had no tap water.
It is just something impossible to envisage. Another shocking surprise was to observe what this school’s backyard was like. My first impression was to tell me that it is a public dumping place; lots of rubbish being dumped haphazardly and nobody seemed to care about that. Well, another significant difference against European schools. This just would never happen, and if it did happen, there would be heavy fines applied.
As a direct consequence of this behavior, according to me, is that these students who have been situated in this environment for such a long time without any effort to change it, they surely consider it as normal thing to live with. Therefore, any improvements towards the friendlier environment we all have to share are silly and deviate from their perception. This is the most crucial reason to realize. This school failed to adopt any countermeasures how to improve this behavior. Even when we mention rubbish bins, there is nothing inside, but everything is tossed next to them. It symbolizes their relentless behavior.
We decided to start environmental education here with a demonstration how to create compost. Despite our successful effort to demonstrate it to them, I barely guess that it benefitted them in any way. Obvious lacks of organization and coordination from the school’s side, I would not dare state that their interests is very low, contribute to all this issue as a waste of time. If there are any other activities, there has to be a system put in place with some relevant schedule together with our main aim and also some defined means of how to measure success accomplished here. Particularly, when this school fails to deliver any betterment by itself! Any other visits here I dare doubt their contribution unless we all involved at this school come with some action plan.
Despite my controversial opinion, I strongly believe that this education is vitally important, however it has to be handled appropriately to meet its desired expectations.