Recognising the need to start the re-socialisation process at the early levels of learning, the unit, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, is taking the project to the children in the primary schools.
Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Communities, Danielle Campbell-Lowe and Chief Education Officer (CEO) (acting) of the Ministry of Education Marcel Hudson, this morning launched the project at the West Ruimveldt Primary School.
Hudson said that the Education Ministry was happy to come on board with the initiative, given the project’s potential to capture the young minds in addressing, positively, the country’s solid waste management problem.
“I am someone who believes that people can change but sometimes, when someone has grown, he/she becomes cemented in the way they do things, and it is difficult to get them to move from a particular behaviour pattern. Therefore, I believe that we need to start with our young minds so that their minds could be reinvigorated and re-energised, and so that they could be more receptive to where we want to go,” Hudson said.
The project actually reinforces the environmentally friendly behavioural habits that are already being taught in the classrooms through the delivery of Health and Family Life Education curriculum, the CEO (ag) explained. “This is where we need to go because many times, we fail in what we attempt to do because all of our stakeholders do not have one mind and we do not move in one direction,” Hudson said.
The programme being rolled at the primary level is not only focusing on teaching them proper solid waste disposal practices, but the students will also learn the difference between organic garbage (which comes from natural sources and are readily degradable and inorganic garbage (which comes from human-made sources and can take a long time to degrade). They will learn the value of sorting these different types of wastes so that those wastes can more easily be managed in a sustainable way. To support this effort, waste receptacles were given to the school for the students to practice solid waste separation.
Hudson advocated for the Communities Ministry to get corporate support for the project, particularly as it relates to outfitting each of the 440 primary schools across the region with waste receptacles.
Meanwhile Campbell-Lowe explained that in July 2016, with the assistance from consultants, Tagman Media Incorporated, the project was rolled out to summer camps along the Linden-Soesdyke Highway including Camp Weslyana and the Kuru Kuru Training Centre.
Thereafter, the project targeted children at childcare homes and institutions and community-based organisations, Campbell-Lowe explained. She said that the ministry is taking the project to the primary school students in all 10 regions because they want them to become waste management crusaders who are guardians of their classroom, their school, their home and their community.
“It is my hope and that of the other crusaders, that Guyana will soon see a green generation of young leaders, not only equipped with the requisite knowledge of proper solid waste management, but also astute in putting that knowledge to good use,” Campbell-Lowe said to the students of West Ruimveldt Primary.
The project which was launched in 2016 is aimed at realising the behavioural changes needed to curb the practice of the careless and indiscriminate dumping of garbage, which has become a norm in the country.