To ensure that children understand their environmental responsibilities and become change agents, Oando Foundation partnered Sumitomo Chemical to execute the second phase of the Clean Our World (COW) project in 12 of its adopted public primary schools in five Lagos communities.
Through the project, the organisers said over 13,000 children, teachers, government education managers and community members were reached with the knowledge of sustainable environmental practices and proper waste management approaches.
The project strengthened the capacity of 205 stakeholders on environmental education and upcycling, instituted a community-level waste collection protocol, and recruited volunteers demonstrating a stronger commitment to adopting better waste management practices.
Through the initiative, 8,570kg of recyclable waste was collected in target communities, and proceeds from the buyback scheme were substituted for basic school supplies and donated to participating schools.
Clean-up and sensitisation campaigns were also executed across five communities, encouraging environmentally responsible behaviours among residents.
The close-out event was recently held at the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LSUBEB) Auditorium, Maryland, to celebrate achievements from the COW phase two project and award prizes to the best performing schools.
The head of the foundation, Ms Adekanla Adegoke, said the project was geared toward climate action and noted that the COW II performance exceeded 320 per cent.
She added that the children could also tell their parents the proper thing to do and become conscious citizens within the community.
Adegoke said the project also involved training of trainers, advocacy to ensure that the project is replicated in the curriculum by the government, and setting up sanitation and environment clubs in schools and school gardens where the pupils learn how to plant trees and grow different crops.
She said the foundation’s 2023-27 strategy has a strong component of environment education where it hopes to replicate the best practices of COW phases one and two. According to her, the ultimate aim is to advocate for the integration of environment education in schools’ curricula after the project must have been replicated in many schools.
Under its core programme, the Adopt-A-School Initiative, Oando Foundation had previously partnered Sumitomo Chemical through the establishment of solar-powered digital learning centres in eight adopted schools and two ECCD classes is bridging the existing gaps in digital literacy and pre-primary education.
ICT teachers now have access to various audio-visual teaching materials and ECCD teachers have their capacity strengthened in ECCD curriculum delivery and use of participatory and collaborative teaching methodologies.
The permanent board member in charge of co-curricular activities at SUBEB, Mrs Sherifat Abiodun Adedoyin, described the programme as a welcome development that will help sanitise the environment, community, state and the country.
She said through the project, pupils were taught how to be independent and turn waste into wealth by creating household items with all the things referred to as waste. To sustain the project, she said the board already established environmental clubs in schools so that the project will continue under the club activities.
Following the assessor’s report, Ishaga Close Primary School emerged as the best performing school and received a public address system and a pledge by the foundation to remodel and provide a new set of furniture for its Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) classroom.
The first runner-up, Islamic Model Primary School, got a sick bay and public address system, while the second runner-up, Metropolitan Nursery and Primary School, got a sick bay.