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Singapore’s Ministry of Education to promote sustainability in schools through Science and Technology initiatives

The Ministry of Education in Singapore announced just last week that they will work with schools and education institutions to promote sustainable living, empower students to play their part for the environment, and strengthen our green efforts in line with the national sustainability agenda under the Singapore Green Plan 2030

The Ministry plans to do this through a variety of educational initiatives from primary level to insitutes of higher learning.

They aim to achieve this by introducing a comprehensive Eco Stewardship Programme. It will also pilot sustainability features and related concepts in schools and will use the new Science Centre to boost public education on sustainability as well as build on existing sustainability efforts by Singapore’s Institutes of Higher Learning.

Eco Stewardship Programme

The Eco Stewardship Programme builds on current environmental efforts in all schools, from primary to pre-university levels, through the 4Cs – Curriculum, Campus, Culture and Community.

The Ministry aims to update and enhance the teaching and learning of sustainability within the Science and Humanities curriculum from Primary School to Pre-University level.

The infrastructure in all schools will be enhanced with sustainability features, including more trees, energy-efficient technologies such as LED lights and Direct-Current ceiling fans, as well as SolarNova deployment.
SolarNova is a Whole-Of-Government effort led by Singapore Economic Development Board, and Housing and Development Board, to accelerate the deployment of solar panels in Singapore.

Students will be encouraged to practise sustainability by adopting daily habits such as reducing energy use and food waste, conserving water and recycling.
Schools will strengthen sustainability efforts by enhancing relevant school policies, including policies on energy and water conservation, and waste management.

Schools will leverage community partnerships to expand environment-related volunteering and enrichment opportunities for students such as through Values-in-Action or environment-related CCAs.
The Ministry wants to generate more student awareness of future “green jobs”, such as jobs in green urban design, renewable energy and sustainability technology, water management, food sustainability and urban farming, green financing.

Pilot Sustainability Features and Related Concepts in Four Schools

The Ministry of Education plans to harness solar energy, reduce energy usage and waste generation in Singapore schools.

The Minstry has said it will “work towards a two-thirds reduction of net carbon emissions from the schools sector by 2030. We will also aim for at least 20% of our schools to be carbon neutral by 2030, with the rest to follow.”

Four schools that already adopt a school-wide approach to environmental sustainability are Elias Park Primary School, Mee Toh School, Commonwealth Secondary School and Tampines Secondary School. The pilot will run from April this year until 2023.

The pilot focuses on developing school-based environmental policies and programmes to help schools reduce their carbon footprint, trialling lesson packages to raise students’ awareness of their carbon footprints, and how they can reduce them, trialling lesson resources which either feature sustainability initiatives, and enhancing infrastructure and campus to reduce each school’s carbon footprint.

New Science Centre  to Boost Public Education on Sustainability

The new Science Centre which is to be developed at the Jurong Lake District, will showcase innovative sustainability technologies, through programmes and exhibits to continue to engage youths and the public to inspire sustainable lifestyle changes. The new Science Centre Singapore will also partner schools to enhance their programmes, including conducting sustainability-themed learning journeys and mentoring students to lead their peers.

Institutes of Higher Learning Build on Existing Sustainability Efforts

The Institutes of Higher Learning in Singapore are strong supporters of environmental sustainability, and have already embarked on similar efforts in the areas of cirriculum, campus, culture and community. In the area of curriculum, they contribute towards building capability for sustainability efforts, through specialised courses such as environmental studies as well as common modules.

They are also committed to building “greener” campus infrastructure and environment, promoting sustainable living initiatives on campus, and leveraging their unique strengths such as engaging in industry partnerships to provide opportunities for applied learning, and  sustainability-related research.

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