By Alexander Villafania
PASIG CITY, METRO MANILA – The Department of Education has established the Youth For Environment in School Organizations (YES-O) tasked to implement environment-related advocacy within schools.
Pursuant to Republic Act 9512, or the Environment Education Act, the members of YES-O are Grade 4 to 6 students in all public and private schools nationwide. These will also be managed by the DepEd’s Center for Students and Co-Curricular Affairs.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro explained that membership to YES-O is voluntary and is aimed to primarily establish a culture of ecological protection awareness among youths.
The individual groups may conduct fund-raising activities within their respective school. No membership fees are required for participation or membership in YES-O. Conducting events is also subject to the rules and regulations of the schools.
Luistro said that environment awareness should start with the youth, who will benefit from the long-term effects of ecological protection.
In relation to the department’s environment programs, Luistro has instructed several bureaus that will be working on the integration of environment education. Among these are the Bureau of of Elementary Education (BEE), Bureau of Secondary Education (BSE), and the Bureau of Alternative Learning Systems (BALS).
Luistro has also released Memorandum Order 52 series of 2011, ordering school officials and teachers to have creative ways of teaching environment issues among students through books, visual aids, and other instructional materials.
“I urge all public and private schools to take the lead in promoting environmental awareness by enhancing environmental education and by pursuing activities in schools that nurture the environment,” Luistro said.
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