Schools are supposed to be teaching environmental protection and conservation. But do students know they are expected to practice what they learn not just inside their schools, but everywhere they go?
It may be necessary to review how environmental lessons are taught, and if they are learned.
I live near St. Anthony School on Singalong corner San Andres Streets in Malate, Manila. I often leave for work around the time afternoon classes end. Waiting outside the school gates are peddlers selling food and drinks. Of course, the food is usually wrapped in plastic.
What kids do with the wrappers and empty containers makes me think environment lessons are nothing more than theories for these students—something they have to learn, but which has absolutely no relevance to real life. They drop the plastic on the sidewalk, or throw it away from the window of a jeepney.
It is no surprise that that part of Manila gets flooded at the slightest rain, and it takes a while before water subsides.
But it is not just St. Anthony pupils who fail to understand that environmental protection should be a way of life, not just a subject to be learned. Students in other schools, even those in college, also do not seem to understand the relationship between improper garbage disposal and destructive floods, as they mindlessly throw their trash anywhere.
And yet, when it floods, everyone is quick to say plastic is responsible for clogging waterways. Why doesn’t the knowledge get translated into concrete action? Schools, even the Department of Education, should try to find out.
Why spare them?
Grandstanding politicians are trying to earn pogi points with the public by taking to task government officials who “dare” to say people are to blame for the floods and other environmental catastrophes. They do not want it said that citizens are as much to blame for what happens during calamities. There is no question that, through omission and commission (in more ways than one), public officials have a lot to answer for when lives and property are lost in times of disasters. But every citizen also has to be held responsible.
Politicians who try to win votes by refusing to tell people the government cannot accomplish much if they do not assume some responsibility for their well-being are not helping those people they are “defending.” These politicians are only encouraging those people to continue doing all the things that make disasters more destructive than they should be.
People who block waterways by building on them or turning them into their private garbage dumps have to be told the truth that they are a big part of the problem. They have to be reminded that those things they throw away carelessly anywhere and everywhere are likely to come back and cause them misery.
Politicians who do not want to say what needs to be said for fear of losing votes are as much to blame for the worsening situation as the government officials they criticize.
Walking for women
Avon marks the 20th year of its Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer (KGBC) with its Let’s Walk the Talk Tour that began Aug. 20 in Las Piñas City. The campaign will be brought to other locations in Metro Manila, as well as Cebu and Davao cities. It will culminate in the walk and run events on Oct. 21 at the SM Mall of Asia open grounds.
The KGBC is Avon’s way of giving back to its clients—the women—who made it the company that it is today.
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