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Eco Schools Awards

On Wednesday, 17 May, several schools surrounding Amsterdam received Eco Schools Awards at the Amsterdam Environmental Centre.

These awards were presented by The Amsterdam Environmental Centre together with Mondi, the Mkhondo Municipality and the Department of Education. The awards motivate schools to encourage the students to live lives that do not negatively impact the environment, as well as to encourage healthier lifestyles. There are various projects that schools can engage in to qualify for this award.They can plant trees and grass on their premises, as well as make flower or vegetable gardens.

Eco School Awards
Mr Sithole, the envoromental educator at Msinyane Secondary School who received the award

These vegetable gardens are then also used to feed the students and promote healthier living through this. Schools have to implement plans to use less water and electricity. Students are taught to be aware of how many resources they use in their daily lives. The more conservatively a school can use water and electricity, the better. Schools are also encouraged to engage in celebrations of both heritage and environmental days.

The students learn to celebrate their cultural heritage, but at the same time appreciate the natural environment that they were given, as both are deemed important to an overall healthy lifestyle. Schools can also launch clean-up campaigns and raise awareness on littering to educate others to help keep the environment healthy.

There are four certificates that schools can receive: bronze, silver, green flag and platinum. The certificate that a school receives is determined by the number of years that they have been participating in the programme, as well as the amount of work that they do. This year thirteen schools, surrounding Amsterdam, received awards for the work they do in this programme.

Msinyane Secondary School is very proud to receive a double platinum certificate for their work. They received this certificate as this is the second year that they are rewarded with a platinum certificate. Thank you to Mr Sbiya, the Circuit Manager for Amsterdam, the school principals, Mondi staff and Shallod Phiri from the Department of Education for making this event possible.

Thank you also to Mr Mhakabane and Mr J. J. Ferreira from the Amsterdam Environmental Centre who hosted the event. Congratulations to all the schools who participated in the programme and received awards. Mother earth stands a fighting chance with the next generation learning to take responsibility for their actions and to focus on protecting the environment through the way that they life their lives.

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