Riau School Makes Environmental Progress

Plant Collection in School

The Tanoto Foundation, the philanthropic organization established by Indonesian entrepreneur Sukanto Tanoto and his wife to deliver educational and social services to the country’s people, is proud that one of the schools it supports has received an award for environmental awareness.

In 2014, SDN 002 Muara Lembu, located in the province of Riau on the island of Sumatra, won an Adiwiyata School competition sponsored by Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment. The recognition honors the school’s implementation of a program of environmental education, awareness, and infrastructure-building. The Muara Lembu school has taken advantage of recent Tanoto Foundation-sponsored skill-building workshops and other trainings that have helped teachers provide more fun, effective classroom instruction. Thanks to these new techniques, students have increased their love of books and learning, and SDN 002 Muara Lembu has become a model institution in the Kuantan Singingi District. In addition, the Tanoto Foundation’s emphasis on environmental literacy means that the entire student body, as well as administrators and teachers, have adopted more sustainable practices in their own lives and within the school community.

Using recycled materials as classroom decorations

Using recycled materials as classroom decorations

On a broader scale, the Adiwiyata program has been promoted throughout Asia under the direction of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Through Indonesia’s Ministry of the Environment, Adiwiyata serves as a key component of the government’s efforts to promote student learning about the environment, conservation, and sustainability. Indonesian officials are pleased that the program appears to have assisted students in gaining life-changing knowledge and in making positive changes in their communities.

In the Muara Lembu school, students and community stakeholders now understand, for example, best practices in separating dry waste products from wet waste. They have even established a waste bank and natural apothecary program. Looking to the future, the school would like to construct a health room and begin a “young doctor” project as it also works on keeping the existing program in place.

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