Head of Primary School Duncan Stonehouse receives the Eco-Schools certificate from representatives of WWF Thailand
On Tuesday 21st February 2017, Bangkok International Preparatory and Secondary School (Bangkok Prep) became the first school in Thailand to receive the Eco-Schools Green Flag Award. This is the highest award given by the Eco-Schools governing body, a global organisation aimed at promoting sustainability and environmental education.
“The Eco-Schools programme is fantastic,” says Bangkok Prep Eco School Coordinator Kris Leverton, “because it is not about bombarding students with information or buying solar panels and recycling bins. Effective environmental education is about participation and encouraging young people to take action. This is how genuine change occurs.”
The Bangkok Prep Eco Team started three years ago, when members of the Student Council expressed concern over rubbish found on the playing fields. Before long, Bangkok Prep was a registered Eco-School, and had joined the Eco-Schools award scheme.
Soon, thanks to the enthusiasm and hard work of the students involved, the Bangkok Prep Eco Team had worked their way through the Bronze and Silver Awards. At this point the hard work really started, as they set their sights on the International Green Flag. This involved systematically working through all of the Eco-Schools focus areas, making sure everything was considered. After another year of hard work, the school was finally ready.
In late 2016, an Eco-Schools International Assessor visited to inspect the school. “The Eco Team were on great form and wowed the inspector with their knowledge and enthusiasm,” says Mr Leverton. “Following the inspection, the school was awarded Green Flag Status, with the official flag and certificate presented to the Head of Primary Duncan Stonehouse by representatives from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on Tuesday 21st February.
“This is a proud moment for the Bangkok Prep Eco Team,” says Mr Leverton. “The focus of the Eco-Schools programme is on child-led initiatives and a student-centered approach to environmental learning. The students in the Eco Team have given up their free time, developed leadership and organisation skills, written and presented assemblies, presented to the board of directors, written magazine articles, delivered lessons and much more.”
For the Bangkok Prep Eco Team, this is not the end, but rather the beginning. They have many more projects planned to help raise awareness and encourage participation in environmental education in Bangkok. “Our aim is to continue working to be an Eco-School, so that we can inspire other schools and help to spread the idea of saving the planet. It’s very important because we only have one,” says Primary Eco Team Member Ella Pfirsch.
For more information, please contact Kris Leverton: [email protected]