Record 342 schools awarded the School Green Awards

SINGAPORE- A record 342 academic institutions were recognised for their environmental efforts at the annual School Green Awards on Monday, up from 327 schools last year.

Organised for the 14th year by the Singapore Environment Council (SEC), the awards are given to schools who have made an effort to engage their students on issues such as waste reduction and cutting down on water and electricity usage.

Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College East was awarded the top level Lotus Award for including environment related modules as electives to all students regardless of their courses. It was also recognised for its green building initiatives.

The school received the award from Ms Grace Fu Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources and Foreign Affairs who was present at the awards ceremony.

Ang Mo Kio Secondary School won the Lotus Sustained Achievement Award, given to schools which have won the Lotus award at least three times in a row.

The school's students go door to door in residential estates yearly to collect recyclables like plastic bottles and metal cans.

Mrs Habibah Ismail, subject head for environment education, said environment education is also weaved into the school curriculum. Recently, students were asked to bring leftover materials like tissue boxes and aluminium foil to make a solar-powered USB fan. Before they embark on the project, the students have to do research about clean energy practices and energy efficiency.

"Students need to be aware that almost everything can be recycled no matter how small they may seem," said Mrs Ismail.

Mr Jose Raymond, SEC chief executive, said while he is encouraged that the programme is "taking root" with participation from more schools, he feels that more needs to be done. "Let's not forget this is not a one-off exercise. We need to continue being responsible for the common spaces we live in and in resource conservation," he said.