So far this year 135 so-called eco-schools in Latvia have been awarded Green Flag Award for accomplishments for sustainable development, environmental education and environment protection promotion in school. Another 56 schools will receive a certificate and Latvian Eco-school title, BNN was told by Environment Fund representative Ilze Rušmane.
The Eco-school programme is an environment education programme in Latvia that combines more than 200 education institutions – from primary to high schools. «Over the past sixteen years, since the programme was first launched in Latvia, we have noticed that schools play a major role in this. Environment education is a universal tool that helps promote sustainable development and develop knowledge, skills, responsibility and motivation to act, which is important in the 21st century. In eco-schools children are taught to think critically, cooperate and become actively involved in solving their own, community’s and society’s problems,» says the programme’s coordinator in Latvia Daniels Trukšāns.
The programme grows along with the number of Latvian schools awarded with Green Flags. With addition to topics covered by eco-schools, school support system and international cooperation opportunities. Considering the new approach for education content, Environment Education Fund’s future goal is improving teachers’ skills in using the Eco-school programme to develop children’s skills and reach the necessary academic results, says Rušmane.
She continues: «The Eco-schools programme is the biggest education institutions cooperation programme in the world – there are more than 51,000 participating schools. They are unified by a common goal – involving children in exciting, action-oriented and socially responsible environment education process. International Green Flag Award is a sign of quality to be proud of – only schools that demonstrate excellent accomplishments in environmental affairs are given one.»