Recycling competitions changing the ways of children and parents, teachers say

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the seventh Sharjah Environment Awareness Award and the fourth Inter-School Recycling Competition by Bee’ah, Randa Hasan said such competitions have a definite impact on people’s thinking.

SHARJAH // Teachers say recycling competitions are having such an impact that children who take part are even making their parents change their ways.

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the seventh Sharjah Environment Awareness Award and the fourth Inter-School Recycling Competition by Bee’ah, Randa Hasan said such competitions have a definite impact on people’s thinking.

Ms Hasan, of Al Safwa school, in the central region of Sharjah, said: “We have pupils running around government departments, stores and public places in the Nazwa area teaching them about the importance of recycling and gathering materials that can be recycled.

“These competitions make them more aware of the benefits of recycling and the importance of protecting the environment.

“We received calls from parents informing us that their children have taught them ways to separate the trash, to be able to recycle the majority of it. Children, parents and school teachers would bring the material to the school and we give them to Bee’ah for recycling.

“If the kids are teaching their parents, and visa versa, then the awareness has succeeded, and it snowballs to other homes, and thus, a whole community works on protecting the environment.”

Pupils at Al Safwa school have won the Bee’ah competition for inter-school recycling twice. Last year, they gathered 13 tonnes of paper, plastic and some metal scrap, said Ms Hasan.

“Some of the parents have subconsciously started separating the trash, to respond to their children’s demands, and every few weeks, a truck comes from Bee’ah, weighs the material and take it for recycling.”

Asha Mathew, a teacher at Delhi private school in Sharjah, shares the same view.

“Children would brainstorm and generate ideas to win the competitions and, in turn, they would learn ways to protect the environment and preserve the natural resources of the country,” she said.

“When the children learn about the environment from an early age, it becomes a habit and a way of life, which will help preserving the environment.”

Fahad Shehail, chief development officer at Bee’ah, Sharjah’s environment company, said the aim of these competitions is to increase environmental awareness among children, from nursery-level to Grade 12, as well as to encourage young people to actively participate in environmentally educational activities – both at school and of their own volition.

“It’s a win-win case for us. We are working on protecting the environment and at the same time educating the pupils on ways to protect the environment and raise a generation who are environmentally responsible and actively working on preserving natural resources,” he said.

The aim of the Bee’ah competition is to reinforce and improve the recycling performance of schools, the children and their families.

More than 450 schools and nurseries have participated in the previous six editions and hundreds of students and teachers have also been honoured in recognition of their outstanding individual efforts and initiatives.

Last year, Delhi Private School won first place in the Bee’ah competition, after they invented a cooler that consists of a re-used bucket that has insulation on the inside and blocks of ice, as well as a built-in fan at the top, which when switched on starts emitting cool air for one metre around it. It can cool a room for up to four hours and consumes only 0.023 kWh in that time, when a/c consumes 3.5kWh. The cooler is currently being used in several classrooms at the school.

tzriqat@thenational.ae

Published: September 7, 2016 04:00 AM

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