04.10.2013 - UNESCO Office in Ha Noi

Nam Dinh, MAB and UNESCO review progress of BREES programme implemented through MOET in Viet Nam


Nam Dinh, 4 October - Mr. Nguyen Van Tuan, Director of Nam Dinh Provincial Department of Education and Training (DOET), met with the UNESCO Representative to Viet Nam, Dr. Katherine Muller-Marin and Dr. Hoang Tri, Secretary General of the Man and Biosphere Committee for Viet Nam to discuss the successful contribution of schools in Giao Thien, Giao An, Giao Lac and Giao Thuy communes to the livelihoods of their communities.

Students from five schools developed projects to mainstream education for sustainable development into school activities. Implemented through the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) and funded by UNESCO Japanese Funds-in-Trust, the projects were led by selected teachers, with active participation of parents, local community and authorities.

Projects included: i) growing an organic vegetable garden to raise awareness of the importance of using natural fertilizer instead of chemical fertilizer; ii) planting trees in and around the school to raise awareness of the importance of mitigating the negative impacts of greenhouse gases; iii) composting straw discarded by rice farmers to produce environmentally friendly fertilizer; iv) campaigning to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic bags in the school and community; and v) promoting the use of sawdust bedding in small-scale family farms as a method to reduce water pollution.

This experience has led to a true integration of formal education with continuing education, as projects in schools were identified as a result of the community coming together to learn about climate change and biodiversity and to discuss the main issues of concern in their environment, such as the affects of burning straw discarded by rice farmers. It also led to education for parents and community as all five projects raised awareness of environmental issues of greatest concern in their localities. For example, children spoke to community members in a local market about the need to stop polluting with plastic bags and showed them how to use sawdust bedding in livestock pens as a method of absorbing animal waste and therefore reducing water run-off, thus reducing water pollution. To spread their messages as far and wide as possible, children also wrote articles that were broadcast by commune radio stations.

A workshop will be held in Nam Dinh under the leadership of Mr. Tuan and MOET officials to present the projects and discuss ways in which the schools and communities can obtain support from local authorities to ensure the sustainability of the experience and reinforce decisions to support environmental conservation.

School principals, vice principals and selected teachers will now document each experience in a way that constitutes guidelines with practical examples to be shared on-line with all schools throughout the country as part of the Education for Sustainable Development Initiative, funded by Samsung. The corresponding lesson plans and guidelines will become part of the materials under the e-learning platform that is being developed jointly with support of Ha Noi Open University and various experts.

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