School shows way in fighting air pollution in Thailand

By YANG WANLI in Chiang Rai, Thailand | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-12-14 09:15
Share - WeChat

Long-term threat

Banpafae-nongor-sansaimoon School students' works on air pollution on display in November. YANG WANLI/CHINA DAILY

Tongsuk Riyakad, a grade-six teacher at Banpafae-nongor-sansaimoon School, said the annual health checks for the nearly 200 students indicated that more incidents of allergy have been witnessed in recent years.

Last year alone, 30 students were reported to have allergy symptoms that were related to air pollution, such as tears and running noses, as well as respiratory problems.

"Smog poses a long-term threat to people's health. We are worried about the children who may suffer from other conditions that are even worse. Also, the polluted air brings with it the risk of cancer," she said.

According to the Thai Public Health Ministry, more than 2.6 million people were affected by haze pollution in the past three years. Chiang Mai recorded the highest number at nearly 650,000, followed by Chiang Rai at about 467,000.

Air pollution has also affected tourism amid health concerns, Nion said.

"The northern region, which is popular among tourists for its natural scenery, saw a sharp decline early this year when the PM2.5 reading soared to 400 and higher," Nion said.

A year ago, a program on air pollution education named "Blue School" was introduced to children from Banpafae-nongor-sansaimoon School.

The project, sponsored by Thai and international organizations, was launched in 2021. It aimed at educating primary school students on how to fight air pollution at school.

The program trained teachers through various workshops, and the teachers passed on the knowledge to their students.

"Eventually, we aim to make students become 'active citizens' so they can protect themselves and pass on knowledge to their family members with immediate beneficial health impacts," said Nion, who is in charge of the program.

Under the program, students learn about particulate matter, how it threatens human health, and effective ways to deal with it.

"Seldom did students wear masks on polluted days before. But now, many have begun to wear masks on smoggy days, and they have even asked their family members to do the same," said Tongsuk, the grade-six teacher.

So far, more than 200 schools in Thailand have been involved in the program. Another 400 schools, including in Bangkok, will be joining it by the end of the year, according to Nion.

|<< Previous 1 2 3 4 Next   >>|
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349