In a courageous move by the Education Ministry in Jakarta, 30 teachers representing 30 schools from DKI Jakarta, including the Thousand Islands, from all levels of schooling from preschool to vocational high school, will join Indonesia Indah Foundation’s Saya Pahlawan Lingkungan programme. These select teachers will receive environmental training from Indonesia Indah Foundation, rendering them experts in waste reduction, segregation and composting.
In a meeting with the Ministry of Education DKI Jakarta at their offices on Jl. Gatot Subroto on 10 April 2019, the head of Vocational High Schools (SMK) Bapak Waluyo, and head of Primary Schools Ibu Ida, along with representatives of select national schools (SD Malaka Jaya 01, SD Kapuk Muara 03, SMK 57, SMK 27) met with representatives from Indonesia Indah Foundation (IIF) to discuss waste education.
Indonesia Indah Foundation’s (IIF) education programme, Saya Pahlawan Lingkungan (I am an Environmental Hero) aims to groom environmentally concerned teachers and students, who are able to separate and compost waste on-campus, in a bid to reduce the amount of waste that ends up at landfill, as well as educate children to the importance of reducing their waste impact.
The programme will start by taking the 30 teachers on an eye-opening visit to Bantar Gebang, Indonesia’s largest landfill. 7,000 tonnes of trash is dumped here daily from DKI Jakarta, and the landfill is home to approximately 3,000 souls.
The teachers will then receive training on how to reduce and correctly separate waste so that it can be recycled. Working with the Ministry of Environmental Services (Dinas Lingkungan Hidup DKI Jakarta), the teachers will also be shown how to set up and run a simple composting facility on their school grounds.
These teachers will become experts in waste segregation and will be expected to take what they learn back to their schools to ensure students reduce waste, as well as implement on-campus waste segregation and composting, with the support and guidance from IIF, for a trial period of six months. The programme has a holistic approach to sustainability, and will also educate on ways to reduce our carbon footprint, including saving energy, saving water, and eating less meat.
During these six months, IIF will be supporting and monitoring progress at each school to ensure the programme is running well, and that students and staff are separating and composting waste generated at each school. After the trial period, the aim is for this programme to be integrated into the curriculum and be rolled out to all national schools in Jakarta.
The modules for this programme are created in conjunction with MAN Forum, led by Spanish expat and environmental education specialist Yuri Romero.
“We are extremely excited to be partnering with the Education Ministry to advance Indonesia’s curriculum on education,” Romero says. “Our programme’s concept is holistic. Although we are putting an emphasis on waste management, our goal is to go beyond that – we want to improve literacy in environmental and sustainability issues.”
Founder of IIF Angela Richardson believes this will be the start of real positive change in the country. “Our children are our future,” she says. “If children are shown from a young age that it is our responsibility to care for Mother Earth, there is no doubt we will be able to reduce our waste impact and steer Indonesia to the path of environmental consciousness.”