By Precious Blessy T. Acuña
November 29, 2021 – Teachers from the Philippines use their platforms as environmentalists to form and teach everyone how to properly take care of Mother Earth, to aid the prevention of climate change.
The 5th National Climate Change Conference – Teachers as Stewards for Climate Action Forum happened on November 24, 2021. It was hosted by Lucinda Bautista, a student from Bernardo Lurio National High School Division of Tanauan City, Batangas, Region 4-A CALABARZON, with James Abringe from Ramon Teves Pastor Memorial Dumaguete Science High School of the Division of Dumaguete City in Region 7 Central Visayas.
The learning session began with Jasper Catanduanes, a teacher from Camachilles National High School Division in Mabalacat, Pampanga City Region III, presenting the Green Beat Initiative Plus (TGBI+), a program in which he participated. It is an online environmental journalism training for the school paper advisers (SPA’s) and campus journalists, in collaboration with the Department of Education (DepEd), Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS), and Association of Young Environmental Journalists (AYEJ).
This program also aided the 40 trained journalists and 40 SPAs in enhancing their radio broadcasting ability and knowledge. The participants were allowed to create a 10-minute radio magazine to show the good things that happen in our environment.
Krishna S. Madredo from Koronadal National Comprehensive School, School Division of Koronadal City – South Cotabato, Region 12; talked about the KaLIKHAsan Online Training Program. It is a theater production and climate action online training program for high school students. It increases students’ knowledge to raise awareness about the environment and climate change through acting, theater, and film.
Their daily assessments start with a warm-up followed by creative and tricky games, together with cosplaying and roleplaying; feedback, the sight of the other situations, sharing their insights, suggestions, and ideas. James Abringe introduced Stephen Lloyd Casono as the third speaker of the session. Casono is a climate Educator and a teacher from Lambunao National High School, School Division of Iloilo Province, Region 6.
Lloyd Casono presented their school programs toward climate change, one of which is the Tatak First Class, Tatak First Class 3.0, PADAYON, and many more. They also conducted an environmental talk, tree planting, plastic collection, eco-breaking activity, environmental leadership training for the students.He ended his talk with a quote from Helmut Schmidt, “The largest room in the world is the room for improvement.”
Leonard Igot, a Junior High School Teacher and DRRMS Coordinator of Bankal National High School of Lapu Lapu City in Region 7, was the fourth and last speaker of the learning session. He showed their school’s implementation towards preventing climate change, such as Solid Waste Management Program, School Greening Program, Wastewater Management Program, Integration of Climate Change adaptation, and mitigation education, seminars, and orientations about climate change to all teachers.
He also added that they practiced proper waste segregation to encourage everyone to be responsible on solid waste management. They also conducted the Fri-4 Ligpit Program, which means Proper Waste Segregation, Waste Disposal, Monitoring of Water Disposal. Recyclable matter like plastic bottles and cartons were sold, and the money was donated to the SSG’s Scholars in their school.
There was also a part of the program where the teachers were questioned by the viewers who were watching live. “We should take care of the environment for the next generation. I am committed to giving back to the environment,” Leonard says.
Claire Bea of the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines, delivered a warm message of gratitude to DepEd for conducting this kind of Conference to raise everyone’s awareness that climate change is real.
The learning session ended with a segment presented by Dino Calderon, Education for Sustainable Development program Unit head of Worldwide Fund for Nature, as he discussed the role of technology in climate change education.
The issues on climate change in the Philippines were not a joke. Teachers have made a profound impact in preventing climate change in the Philippines. Despite the pandemic, they can still smoothly teach their students about climate change awareness.