Program prods students to teach parents on waste management

While this concept generally means parents should set an example for their children in many aspects of life, it can be the other way around, particularly in terms of caring for the environment.

This was the aim of the Department of Education's (DepEd) Taguig and Pateros (TaPat) division in coming up with a project where students are tasked to watch over their parents' compliance with cleanliness measures, including garbage disposal, segregation, and reduction.

In an interview on Thursday, Taguig City's education czar Dr. George Tizon said the project, dubbed as the "Bantay-Magulang" Waste Management Project, was based on the division's Memorandum 13, series of 2020, or the Waste Management Program, which has been integrated in the schools' homeroom class as part of the students' elective subjects.

"The problem of garbage reduction is not confined within a particular city but Mayor Lino Cayetano is formulating policies that will benefit not only the city of Taguig but the rest of Metro Manila, such as the Bantay-Magulang Waste (Management) program, where students and parents at home play a very vital role," said Tizon, who is also DepEd TaPat's chief education supervisor for school operations and governance.

The project, which will be participated in by parents, teachers, and student-leaders, will be launched at the Gat Andres Bonifacio Elementary School in Barangay The Fort on Saturday, during which parents and local officials would also sign a covenant to show their support for the program.

The goal of the project is to teach the children the importance of segregating biodegradable waste from non-biodegradable waste and achieve the project's goal of decreasing the collected garbage in the city by 50 percent.

Under the program, students will be required to teach their parents on proper waste segregation and reduction efforts. They will also have to report the volume of garbage collected from their homes.

Students who report that their parents have failed to comply with the program will be given the task of encouraging and guarding their parents until they are obliged to follow.

Based on the program, each household will be encouraged to separate the garbage that can be sold at the junkshop to avoid adding to the waste volume, as well as those that are still recyclable to be made useful through the assistance of the Solid Waste Management Office (SWAMO) of the city or barangay.

"It will be monitored and reported by the children in their classes to ensure their compliance," Tizon said, adding that this will have repercussions on the academic performance of the pupils.

Parents are also encouraged to provide their children with water tumblers or containers because the school would discourage the use of single-use plastics.

DepEd-TaPat Schools Division Superintendent, Dr. Margarito Materum, meanwhile, said the program would help promote a culture of discipline among households.

"We know that children sometimes obey their teachers more than their parents. So we want to take advantage of this situation for the parents to follow the Waste Management Program of the local government because of their children's involvement," Materum said in a text message.

Children do not want to be embarrassed in class simply because of their parents' non-adherence nor do they want to lie to their teachers. This may probably resolve the discipline problem we need in every household, he added.

Meanwhile, Taguig Mayor Lino Cayetano said reducing the amount of waste and proper recycling of garbage are long-term solutions to Metro Manila's garbage problem.

This is part of our Green Governance agenda here in Taguig City, which aims to decrease the amount of waste by avoiding single-use plastics, segregating, and recycling the garbage," the local chief executive added.

While Taguig has yet to create a policy on single-use plastics, some establishments in the city have already initiated a ban on it.

Some Metro Manila cities that have either banned or regulated the use of plastics and other similar materials are Las PiAas, Pasay, Pasig, Makati, Muntinlupa, and Quezon City.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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