Vangvieng school a model of cleanliness with recycling project

Schoolchildren in Vangvieng district, Vientiane province, are using what they learn about recycling at school to help their communities and families separate rubbish into items that can be recycled and waste that must go to the dump.
Every morning before classes start, children at Pakpok Primary School gather up water bottles and beer cans and put them in a place where they will be collected for recycling.
This activity teaches the children about cleanliness as well as caring for the environment in their immediate community.
12-year-old Duang was one of the children picking up plastic bags to throw in the school’s rubbish bin.
She explained how teachers had explained the proper way to dispose of waste, and that picking up rubbish regularly helped to keep the school

Children at Pakpok Primary School collect plastic bottles for recycling.

grounds clean and stopped litter from blocking drains or ending up in the river when the rains come.
Duang was pleased to learn about this beneficial activity and to develop a sense of cleanliness. She helps her parents to collect waste materials and takes to school anything that can be recycled.
Khamkeo, 11, was also aware of the benefits of recycling but was shy about describing the kind of rubbish he brings to school.
But he knew which items could be recycled. “When I’m walking home, if I see a water bottle I will take it home and put it with other things that can be recycled and then I take them all to school,” he said before running off.
The Principal of Pakpok Primary School, Ms Khamphai Kingxaya, said the school wanted to teach children to collect up and bring to school items like water bottles that could be recycled or sold.
Every day, the children are encouraged to bring things from home to place in the school’s various garbage bins. They write down their name as well as the number of items they have collected.
The school has two places for rubbish disposal - one is for water bottles, beer cans and soft drink cans or bottles, and the other is for plastic and paper.
Most of the bottles and cans are sold and the money put towards the school fund to buy equipment for children taking part in various educational activities.
Sometimes, the school uses waste items to turn into forms of classroom decoration.
The children are clearly interested in these activities and have many questions for their teachers as well as enjoying helping each other to separate out the garbage.
Ms Khamphai said the initiative taught the children to learn the importance of keeping their school and community clean.
They pick up garbage in their homes and advise other members of their family to dispose of waste items properly.
The children also learn to keep water sources clean by removing rubbish from the river. This teaches them about the adverse impacts of rubbish in streams and rivers and broadens their understanding of environmental issues.
The teachers have noticed a change in the children since this project was initiated as they now look around for litter after they’ve finished eating and keep empty water bottles to give to teachers.
The school is pleased that the children are becoming models of cleanliness within the community and setting good examples for their parents by their actions, whether at home or in school. Now the teachers’ wish is that their good habits continue well into the future.
Ms Khamphai believes that building awareness of such issues in children at a young age will enable communities to become cleaner and residents to have a greater sense of civic pride.
She hopes the school will be a model for other primary schools in the area and that the good practices it has encouraged will be adopted by others.


By Ounkham Pimmata
(Latest Update March 3, 2018
)


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