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City books a cleaner future for its children

By Luo Wangshu and Zhou Lihua | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-08 07:42

Students learn how to classify wastes on a class. [Whang Zhuangfei/China Daily]

In 2016, it began conducting research to reinforce environmental education, and undertaking pilot programs.

In February, as the spring semester began, the local education authority and other official bodies made The First Class, a television documentary that focused on environmental protection. The program has been seen by every school student in the city.

Last year, the city's Yiling and Xiling districts conducted pilot programs into environmental education and wrote their own textbooks.

"All the materials come from the local community, which the students are familiar with. That's more persuasive. If the textbook was about pollution in Japan or the United States, the students would not have any connection with it, and that would reduce the impact it would have on them," said Wang Hongjun, from the Yiling district education bureau.

Students will gain knowledge and greater awareness by studying local examples, such as testing the water quality in the Huangbai River, which runs through Yiling, and touring the Three Gorges Dam, which is just outside of Yichang.

Many have already benefited from the pilot programs.

Liu Yuanlu, a seventh grader at East Lake Middle School in Yiling, comes from a family that is heavily involved in environmental protection.

The 13-year-old, who refers to himself as an "environmentalist", first became aware of the problem at age 9. He quickly joined the school's environmental protection society and took part in a number of projects, including waste sorting and fermenting food waste to make detergents.

Liu and five classmates - who call themselves "environmental protection volunteers" - talk to passers-by to deter them from littering. They also sort waste at weekends in the local community.

Liu's school is decorated with artworks by students that urge environmental protection, such as paintings with the theme of planting trees.

"We affect students through their education at school, and we hope they are like seeds that will also affect their parents and raise general awareness of environmental protection," Wang said.


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