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SEN launches pre-primary environmental education kit and calls for developing "use less, waste less" culture among children (with photos)

     The Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, today (December 1) participated in two education activities on environmental protection and waste reduction. He said that the development of children's awareness of cherishing resources and reducing wastage in childhood is an important part of environmental education. He called on the education sector to put more efforts into cultivating a "use less, waste less" culture among the young generation.

     Officiating at the launch ceremony of a Pilot School Campaign entitled "Prevention First before Reuse and Recycling", Mr Wong said Hong Kong's per capita waste load is much higher when compared with the levels in neighbouring advanced cities. He pointed out that to achieve the target of reducing waste by 40 per cent by 2022 as set out the "Hong Kong Blueprint on Sustainable Use of Resources 2013-2022", environmental education and social mobilisation are of utmost importance. The campaign promotes the "use less, waste less" culture to nursery schools and kindergartens in order to develop environmental awareness at an early stage. This would encourage young children to take the message back home and motivate the whole family as well as the community to put waste reduction and recycling into practice.

     In order to promote a "use less, waste less" culture in pre-primary education, the Environmental Protection Department and the Vocational Training Council (VTC) Child Education Centre for Teaching and Learning (CECTL) of the Department of Child Education and Community Service of the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) jointly launched the Pilot School Campaign "Prevention First before Reuse and Recycling" and invited 50 nursery schools and kindergartens to participate. The nursery schools and kindergartens were not only provided with an education package on waste reduction produced for the first time, but also a tailor-made interactive three-colour recycling bin designed with reference to the height of children to assist teachers in enhancing environmental education in schools in a creative way.

     The campaign focuses on children aged 5 or 6 years old and features the concept of caring for the earth. Through the use of storytelling, it aims to stimulate children to think about the problem of waste generation and treatment, thereby enabling them to make behavioural changes and put the "use less, waste less" concept into practice. During the campaign, participating schools will also receive training and technical support from the CECTL to ensure the education kit is properly used for achieving the goal of environmental education.

     Other officiating guests at the launch ceremony held at IVE (Sha Tin) were the Deputy Chairman of the VTC, Mr Conrad Wong; the Executive Director of the VTC, Dr Carrie Yau; and the Chairman of the Environmental Conservation Fund, Dr Joseph Lee. Representatives of participating nursery schools and kindergartens as well as three schools which provided assistance to improve the education kit in a pilot programme also attended today's ceremony to show their support.

     On the same day, Mr Wong also visited Baptist (Sha Tin Wai) Lui Ming Choi Primary School to learn about how it put in place the concept of sustainable development in the school. He was briefed by school representatives on the environmental policies and initiatives on environmental management at the school, and the actions taken to engage teachers, students and their families in green practices.

     During the lunch preparation period, Mr Wong learned more about how the school uses its facilities in providing healthy meals with proper portions to students. He then joined lunch with a class of Primary Four students to see how they measure and reduce food waste.

     To encourage students' participation in waste reduction and adoption of a "use less, waste less" lifestyle, Mr Wong made an appeal to the students through a live feed on the school's "Campus TV" system. Accompanied by a group of students and parent representatives, Mr Wong toured the school's green facilities, including its Organic Farm, Aquaponics, Chinese Herbs Garden and Digital Planetarium (including renewable energy facilities for power supply).

     Mr Wong said he was glad to see that the school has successfully put forward environmental education through its curriculum, activities and initiatives and instilled the significance of treasuring resources into the young generation so that they can adopt green practices in daily life. He also learned about how the environmental facilities in the school can achieve effective resource recovery and measurable results, thereby further contributing to education on environmental protection and waste reduction and setting a good example for a green campus.

Ends/Monday, December 1, 2014
Issued at HKT 17:04


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