Phnom Penh Capital Administration (PPCA), Department of Education, Youth and Sports (DoEYS), and IGES Centre Collaborating with UNEP on Environmental Technologies (CCET) have jointly organized the Final Workshop on Promotion of Environmental Education (E.E.) in Primary Schools in Phnom Penh, with the aim of sharing the result of sharing the result of pilot project activities co-implemented with Phnom Penh’s two collaborating school – Seng Sok Primary School and Tuol Kok Primary School.
The event was organized as a part of pilot project to support the implementation of Phnom Penh Waste Management Strategy and Action Plan 2018-2035 recently published as a result of joint efforts by PPCA, CCET, and UNEP, and intended to improving waste management and 3R practices in primary schools thereby addressing waste management challenges in schools.
In many Primary Schools in Phnom Penh is facing difficulty in managing the generated waste, with increasing waste mainly generated from snack vendors on one hand, and lack of budget for implementing waste management services on the other. On the other hand, environmental education is increasingly expected to play a role of catalysis for inducing behavioral change at individual level towards sustainable development, while the state of implementation on the ground is still mixed, with need for educational material and pedagogy programs for teachers on theories and practices…etc voiced among stakeholders.
In this context, the pilot project aimed at addressing both the real waste management problems faced by the schools as well as environmental education through: 1) development of supplementary educational material for E.E., 2) advancing source segregation in schools, 3) promoting utilization of recyclable components by connecting schools and recyclers as well as promoting decentralized composting. Regarding pedagogy, Active-Learning method was introduced as a key concept connecting the three project components, and an approach for inducing deeper learning and behavioral change.
Following a framing presentations by PPCA, DoEYS, and CCET, the result of waste composition analysis (waste audit) and survey on waste management practice and knowledge conducted in early stage of the project, construction and operation of waste storage and small-scale composting center were reported by the two collaborating primary schools (Tuol Kok and Seng Sok Primary Schools). Ecology Note, a supplementary educational material for E.E. co-developed through the project was also presented, while proposal for aligning the school-based activities to the National Eco-School Program was also made by VVOB and CCET. A series of starters' toolkit for teachers for introducing waste management education co-developed by COMPED and CCET was also introduced with aim of disseminating practice to other schools in Phnom Penh.