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Seoul High School Implements ‘Green’ Education

Posted November. 05, 2009 08:02,   


○ Easy and fun low-carbon life

Kang Dong-il, 17, a junior at Yeongdeok High School in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, is always in a hurry after his last class ends at 4:20 p.m. every day. He has to move around in and out of school to collect 100-liter vinyl bags full of recyclable waste.

His job is to bring the bags to a disposal site and sort out the waste. Quite skillfully, he operates a huge compressor as high as he is to reduce the bulk of beverage cans.

Kang has worked as a volunteer for more than a year and a half. He gets credits for the volunteer work, but continues even after earning the 60-hour ceiling for credit.

“Honestly, I started this just to get the credits,” he said. “But I continue to do it because I find it very enjoyable to work with my friends and teachers.”

The high school has two types of student volunteers. “Green conservation helpers” are responsible for ensuring every light is turned off after school, while “eco-green helpers” do environmental cleanup work around the school.

Clubs are also getting into the green campaign. The “Green Rangers” club takes care of a pond and a small forest on campus. The Environmental Newspaper Club publicizes the school’s green activities, meeting once every two weeks to write stories on environmental issues facing each class.

○ ‘Eco-green” for all classes

Critics say, however, that the school’s drive toward “low-carbon, green growth” is taking priority over preparing students for college entrance exams.

To address these fears, the school chose not to hold promotional events requiring substantial financial and human resources. Instead, it will utilize regular curricula to enhance student awareness of “green” economic growth.

Teachers held their own study groups and made materials for environment-friendly education, sharing the materials and results through an Internet homepage.

“Many people around the school are concerned over eco-friendly education,” said Yeongdeok principal Jeong Hae-joon. “Instead of holding events for others to see, we chose to reflect the education in our curricula. That helps us educate students and, most of all, they find it fun.”