PASIG CITY, December 9, 2018 – Three elementary schools of the Department Education (DepEd) emerged as winners in the 2018 Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO)-Japan Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Award themed, “Applying Local Wisdom for Environmental Conservation.”

Ayao-Iyao Elementary School in Lemery, Batangas bagged second prize with its school program entitled, “Intensifying Holistic and Organized Livelihood Development through Bio-Intensive Gardening” (I HOLD BIG). This school has a total population of 533 learners.

Likewise, Kogkong Elementary School in Kasibu, Nueva Viscaya garnered third prize with its project dubbed as, “Applying Pro-Environment Practices and Local Ideas: A Collective Advocacy Towards an Intimate Care of our Nature” (APPLICATION). The school serves a total of 672 students.

Cambitala Elementary School in Pantabagan, Nueva Ecija, bagged a special prize for the Best Program Carried out in Small Schools of Less than 250 Students, with their project entitled, “Bahay Kubo (Nipa Hut) Filipino Local Wisdom for Sustainable Development.”

Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones lauded the winners and all the 57 schools that competed in the environmental conservation tilt. She expressed delight and pride that the Philippines has the most number of participating schools among the eight competing countries. The Education chief likewise acknowledged the vital role of teachers in instilling knowledge among learners on the value of protecting the planet.

Personnel, parents, and other stakeholders of Ayao-Iyao Elementary School in Lemery, Batangas engage in mangrove preservation as part of the Intensifying Holistic and Organized Livelihood Development through Bio-Intensive Gardening (I HOLD BIG) Program of the school.

Aside from the three winners, the shortlisted Philippine schools with more than 250 students are Bukal Sur Elementary School, Quezon; Munting Ilog National High School, Cavite; Pagbatangan Elementary School, Negros Occidental; Payao Elementary School, Negros Occidental; Salvacion National High School, Davao del Norte; and South Hill School, Inc., Laguna. Also included in the shortlisted schools with less than 250 students is the Kabayan Central School in Benguet Province. A certificate of recognition from the SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award was given to all schools which were shortlisted. They also received a certificate of participation.

A total of 94 entries from Southeast Asian countries including Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand joined the competition. India also placed an entry.

The SEAMEO and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan, in cooperation with UNESCO Asia Pacific Regional Bureau for Education congratulated the awardees and expressed appreciation to the schools which participated.