DepEd high­lights ‘makaka­likasan’core value through var­i­ousen­vi­ron­ment pro­grams

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TOPSTORIES! -

The Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion (DepEd) strength­ens and re­in­forces the in­te­gra­tion of en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion in the ele­men­tary and high school cur­ricu­lum through the in­tro­duc­tion of sev­eral pro­grams in ac­cor­dance with one of its core val­ues, Makaka­likasan.

The re­vival of the School In­side a Gar­den, or SIGA, in part­ner­ship with the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources (DENR) aims es­tab­lish and main­tain a mostly in­dige­nous and en­demic flow­er­ing col­or­ful plant gar­den in pub­lic ele­men­tary and sec­ondary schools na­tion­wide. The pro­gram aims to trans­form school cam­puses as gar­dens of medium-sized flow­er­ing and col­or­ful na­tive trees and plants.

In three to five years, the cherry blos­soms of Ja­pan, United States and other coun­tries will find com­pe­ti­tion with the SIGA in the Philip­pines.

DepEd has also ini­ti­ated the Search for Cam­pus Her­itage Trees where schools are en­joined to iden­tify and sub­mit her­itage trees found within their school cam­puses for in­clu­sion in a na­tion­wide in­ven­tory. The depart­ment is cor­rect­ing ear­lier news items that er­ro­neously men­tion the plant­ing of her­itage trees. Cam­pus Her­itage Trees are de­fined as na­tive and en­demic Philip­pine tree species that are liv­ing and healthy, found within school cam­puses and in their im­me­di­ate sur­round­ings; have a min­i­mum girth of 100cm; and have sig­nif­i­cant ed­u­ca­tional, so­cial, cul­tural, his­tor­i­cal, or aes­thetic value.

Se­lected Cam­pus Her­itage Trees will be given tree mark­ers iden­ti­fy­ing them as such and will be pro­vided pro­tec­tion against dan­ger from dam­age and dis­place­ment due to con­struc­tion and other re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties. Her­itage trees are not to be planted, but rather to be prop­erly iden­ti­fied and pro­tected.

On top of th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties, schools are en­cour­aged to par­tic­i­pate in the an­nual A Mil­lion Tree Chal­lenge (AMTC) spear­headed by the Metropoli­tan Wa­ter­works and Sew­er­age Sys­tem (MWSS) by plant­ing trees in nearby wa­ter­shed ar­eas. The depart­ment has been sup­port­ing this pro­gram through tree-plant­ing ac­tiv­i­ties since 2017. This school year, a to­tal of 500,000 trees have been pledged by the DepEd.

All of th­ese pro­grams are aligned with the Depart­ment’s goals for the PublicS­chools of the Fu­ture (PSOF) which en­vi­sion school cam­puses to be­come cen­ter­sof bio­di­ver­sity and con­ser­va­tion as well as to serve as liv­ing lab­o­ra­to­ries for learn­ers. Through the Youth for En­vi­ron­ment in Schools Or­ga­ni­za­tion (YES-O), the Supreme Pupil Gov­ern­ment (SPG), and the Supreme Stu­dent Gov­ern­ment (SSG), th­ese pro­grams aim to in­cul­cate among learn­ers the im­por­tance of plant­ing and con­serv­ing in­dige­nous and en­demic tree and plant species and their role in the ecosys­tem, es­pe­cially since the past years have seen a trend in plant­ing ex­otic species in many tree plant­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

DepEd is also part­ner­ing with lo­cal sci­en­tists, non-gov­ern­ment or­ga­ni­za­tions, en­thu­si­asts and ad­vo­cates in the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of na­tive, in­dige­nous and en­demic trees and plants that will be used in all th­ese projects.

The DepEd’s en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­grams hope to sus­tain en­vi­ron­men­tal con­scious­ness and ac­tion among its learn­ers. Also aligned with another of the Depart­ment’s core val­ues, Mak­a­bansa, th­ese pro­grams hope to strengthen learn­ers’ ap­pre­ci­a­tion and love for their coun­try’s en­vi­ron­ment and that they be­come em­pow­ered to par­tic­i­pate in its con­ser­va­tion.

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