St Mary’s Bags National Level Eco Waste Management Flagship Award-2020

St Mary’s English Medium(CBSE) School, Kannarpady Udupihas been awarded with National level Eco Waste Management Handprint Flag award -2020 for the successful implementation of innovative waste management ideas at school, home and community level and also finding effective solutions to local environmental issues.The Eco-Schools Waste Management Program (EcoWaM)is a global sustainable school program which was initiated from school, implemented at home atmosphere andextended to community level by engaging the next generation learners in action-based ecofriendly activities. It isan International Certification Program offered in India to the students of middle school [classes 6-8] with a core theme of Waste Management.It is a joint initiative of Centre forEnvironment Education (CEE), Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) and the Bestseller Foundation.Among the 80 plus schools participated in this national level certification program our school has been shortlisted for this prestigious award for the impactful implementation of sustainable lifestyle in the campus. In the award ceremony, virtually held at Ahmadabad, Gujarat the glimpses of the innovative ecofriendly ideas adapted by our school were screened to the national level viewers.

EcoWaste Management program was adopted at school in a phased manner.As an opening move the prime objectives of the program were briefed to teacher monitorsand student representatives in the core committee meeting. Later, teachers brainstormed the strategies of implementation through group discussion. The students of 6,7and 8 along with their parents were briefed about the program through virtual platform. Teachers incorporated the concepts related to waste management in Science, Social Science, Languages, Computer Science, and Mathematics etc. Both online teaching sessions as well as online co-curricular activities integrated the ideas of waste management. An action plan was developed by teachers and students’ core group to adopt the ideas of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in every step of day to day functioning of the school.The progress and the evaluation of the activities were duly monitoredthrough regular online committee meetings. The transformation brought by the program and all the sustainable changes adopted by school were publicized to whole school community through social media platforms and bulletin boards. At its final stage Students and teachers were asked to frame various charter statements reflecting their vision and willingness to sustain the noble mission of this program to bring attitudinal changes in the mind sets of all stakeholders.

Some of the importantactivities and projects upholding the eco-friendly practicesundertaken under this National level certificate program arei] Home Garbage Audit Survey-to estimate the amount of waste collected at home atmosphere ii] Segregation game-to teach the basic skills of solid waste management iii] Designing ecofriendly Packagingmethods-to eliminate the use of plastic packaging materials iv] Littering behaviorsurvey –to study the unscientific littering habits of public v] Interviews of SafaiMitra-focusing the challenge of waste segregation vi] Interviews of parents and grandparents- exploring the sustainable life style and traditional practices practiced at home atmosphere.

Along with the above mentioned activities the dream motto of the program was also actualized through few inspirational ecofriendly drives in the campus. Celebration of eco-friendly Deepavali and Christmas caught everyone’s attention. A large compost pit was developed at school and few vegetables were grown during the winter using organic manure. Best out of waste-art workshop, mask making workshop, cloth bag making workshop, soap making workshops were conducted for students and staff. Office staff and administrators enthusiastically joined hands with the observation of special days such as ‘No buy Day’, and ‘Zero Waste Day’.

The environmental initiatives pioneered by the school were hugely successful in meeting the noble objectives of the program. Students at middle school level openheartedly welcomed the green initiatives launched by the school and manifested unconditional enthusiasm in internalizing the green values. The tiny steps by young learners towards safer environment dramatically transformed the outlook and approach of the whole school family.The learning atmosphere at school also gained more spirit and relevance as students and teachers got meaningful opportunities to respond to the burning environmental issues. Above all the EcoWam program has enhanced the self-confidence and self-esteem of students by providing them a motivational platform to fulfil their social responsibility.This program will be extended to Grade 9,10, 11 and 12 from the next academic year with lot more innovative ideas and creative approach.

The school extends hearty thanks to the Parents of grade 6,7 and 8 who have positively responded to this green campaignthrough their constant and reliable support.Their valuable suggestions, feedback , concerns and queries made this journey more enjoyable and fruitful one.We are surprised and delighted to observe that the pandemic situation paved way for the open minded adoption of eco-friendly initiatives at every household and provided parents the quality time to nurturegreen values the among budding learners. The experience of this value imparting journey wouldn’t have been so effective without the moral backing of parents.

A dedicated team which wheeled the success consists of Principal Rev.Fr Johnson Sequeira, Vice Principal Ms Rita Quadros, Ms Himashree Bhattacharya [External member from CEE], Mr Vinaya Suvarna (Project Coordinator), Teachers, Parents and Students.

Click below to have the glimpses of the Successful Journey