Forum: Topic of food sustainability is part of environmental education in schools

We thank Youth Forum writer Ivan Wan Bin Hor for affirming the efforts made by schools in environmental sustainability, and his enthusiasm in this area (Students, schools can do more to reduce food waste, Sept 5).

Mr Wan will be glad to know that topics such as waste reduction and food sustainability are a part of environmental education efforts in all our schools.

For example, through social studies classes, primary school pupils learn about the importance of conserving resources, the consequences of human actions for the environment, and how Singapore is managing its farming needs. The topic of sustainable food consumption is also featured in our nutrition and food science syllabus. As part of their everyday responsibilities, students are encouraged to adopt sustainability practices such as reducing food waste.

Schools also run their own programmes to raise awareness on food security and recycling. One example is Bukit Batok Secondary School, where students use food digesters to recycle food waste from their school canteen. The leftovers are turned into compost, which is used to fertilise plants in their school.

The Eco Stewardship Programme, introduced last year to all primary to pre-university schools as part of the Singapore Green Plan 2030, will augment these efforts. The programme connects the four areas of curriculum, campus, culture, and community, so that students learn in more authentic ways and build good daily habits in sustainable living.

We agree with Mr Wan that building a culture of eco-consciousness goes beyond school-based efforts. That is why we welcome parent support groups and community partners to play their part in engendering sustainability habits outside the classroom.

We are encouraged by his call to action for our students to do their part as individuals, and share his hope that our young will be responsible stewards of the environment.

Beatrice Chong

Divisional Director, Curriculum Planning and Development Division 2

Ministry of Education

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