Holland Primary SEP champions again!Thursday, June 13, 2019
BY SHANAE STEWART
Holland Primary School from the breadbasket parish of St Elizabeth was yesterday named winner of the Schools' Environment Programme (SEP) Research Day, its third time holding the Champion SEP School trophy.
The students and their teacher could hardly contain their joy at the news.
When the announcement came, Dorothy Wright, a teacher who worked closely with the students in the competition, shouted “Yes!”
“This year I am exuberant about the win but I wasn't so confident we would be victorious. Reason being, our speakers were a bit timid this time around. They weren't as outspoken as the other students in previous years, and that made me a bit unsure we would win,” Wright said.
SEP is a project of Jamaica Environment Trust (JET).
The awards followed an exhibition of environmental research projects mounted by some 15 schools. Holland looked at wetlands and the with crocodiles and that is how the idea was born, and we eventually made the decision to zoom in on wetlands and base our project on that,” Wright explained.
She also shared that Holland Primary has been taking steps within the school over the years to protect and preserve the environment.
“At our school we do not use styrofoam, and I know it is a challenge to the people who work in the kitchen, but it is done to help preserve our environs.
“Lunch is served in dishes and they have to be washed daily. This is something we have been doing for some time now,” she said, noting that garbage at the school is also separated and the children are constantly reminded to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Holland first won SEP in 2014, the first year it entered. It took the champion school award again in 2018.
Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for Land, Environment, Climate Change and Investments, Daryl Vaz, commended JET for the programmes it has been implementing over the years to bring attention to perserving our surroundings.
“This is yet another initiative by JET to increase awareness about the importance of the environment to our lives and livelihood, and the Natural Resources Conservation Authority will continue to support this programme,” Vaz said.
He also encouraged the students to continue engaging in activities that will ultimately help the environment.
The Best Research Display went to Mar-Jam Preparatory School which is in Ocho Rios, St Ann.
The exhibition and awards ceremony were staged at Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew.
JET has been delivering environmental education programmes in Jamaican schools and communities for over two decades. SEP, its flagship environmental education programme, was established in 1997, and is the longest -running programme of its kind in Jamaica.
JET is also national coordinator of International Coastal Clean-up Day activities in Jamaica, which takes place annually in September.
The NGO's largest environmental education project is the Clean Coasts Project, which includes the Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica public education campaign.