SINGAPORE - Pupils at Minds Lee Kong Chian Gardens School have been planting seeds since the start of the year.
Now they are reaping the fruit of their labour after their school, which caters for students with special needs, won the "Lotus Award" at the School Green Awards ceremony yesterday for its emphasis on environmental education.
Organised by the Singapore Environment Council, the awards are given to recognise efforts to go green in areas like recycling, waste reduction and water management.
"It's a very hands-on experience which helps our students to learn better," said Madam Anuradha Krishnan, who is in charge of the school's garden. "Most are very keen, and some have even started their own mini-gardens at home."
The garden features plants including lime, brinjal and sweetcorn, which the school's 244 students - aged seven to 18 - take turns to tend. They then harvest the food and use it in cooking lessons.
This year, 327 awards were given out to primary and secondary schools, junior colleges and Institutes of Technical Education. It was the first time that pre-schools and special education schools were eligible for awards.
Noting that the number of participating schools has gone up, Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Grace Fu said at the event: "It shows that students today understand the need to contribute to protect the environment."
Another first-time winner, Kinderland Preschool (MOE) Centre, encourages pupils to build crafts out of recycled materials. Principal Susan Tan said these activities aim to drive home the importance of a sustainable lifestyle. "You'd be surprised, but they do understand," she said. "When children see these things, they will remember and follow."
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