Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Good on you, All Saints

from w
One of the best schools in Labasa is All Saints Secondary College, a high school started by the Anglican church. They have a good program in checking the environmental damage to the Qawa River and now they have another project.

from Fiji Times today:
Saints on litter marchTHERESA RALOGAIVAU
Thursday, July 31, 2008

OVERWHELMED by litter problems a secondary school in the Northern Division made sweeping changes and employed' environmental monitors who have made inroads in solving litter issues. The 12 environmental monitors at All Saints Secondary School have succeeded thus far in keeping the school litter free.

School principal Kaliote Mackenzie said at one stage plastics and other forms of paper rubbish littered the vast school compound, an unpleasant sight to see. "We told the students again and again to use rubbish bins but that did not make any difference. It seemed all good advice fell on deaf ears. We decided it was time to be a bit tougher," Mrs Mckenzie said. "After the environmental monitors were appointed, we have observed major changes. The students are just careful about dropping any rubbish."

When the second school term began 12 students from forms 3 up to form 7 level were appointed and were invested with the authority to charge' those students caught littering within the school compound. Yellow scarves tied around the monitor's shirt collars distinguished them from the rest of the student population. Student monitors were also an initiative of the Live and Learn program which the school is a part of and coordinator Amit Maharaj said a student caught littering was fined $1.

"So the monitors, with their yellow scarves are a walking warning to other students that they could get into trouble if they littered. Students rethink their desire to litter when they see the monitors around," Mr Maharaj said. "The monitors move around during the recess and lunch hour break with their note books in which they write the names of the students who litter. These students must pay their fines. But their surveillance is not limited to the school compounds. They also monitor littering in classrooms," he added.

Another school teacher Mr Ram Lingam said in the beginning, monitors would be often challenged. "Students would refuse to pay their fines or even dare the monitors by dropping rubbish in front of them. Sometimes they'd even be verbally abusive to the monitors but over time this has changed along with their attitudes about keeping the environment clean," Mr Lingam said. "Now there is hardly any reminder during school assemblies about keeping the environment clean. Students know that littering is wrong and in the process have been subtly educated or instilled with good attitudes towards their environment."

As an incentive to motivate students to keep their environment clean, the cleanest classroom would be awarded a prize. Penalties collected is directed towards funding another school environment project which is monitoring pollution levels at the Qawa River on the banks of which the school is located.

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