Teachers, parents and students of primary schools in the central city of Da Nang are now benefiting from a program that has seen trees planted on their campuses, cooling the baking atmosphere as local officials apply a ‘green school’ model to protect the environment.
Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, deputy chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee, said that the model, approved in 2015, is an essential part of promoting students’ love of the environment.
When interviewing schools in the area, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters realized the model would not only benefit students’ awareness but also their general health.
“My child benefits greatly from the model in various ways,” Vo Tan Ba, a parent whose kid is studying at Nguyen Duy Trinh Elementary School in Ngu Hanh Son District said, smiling.
“Firstly, with the shade provided by the trees, my child, along with others, can play freely without worrying about catching sunstroke [a kind of fever which mainly occurs at this time of year].”
“By taking care of the trees themselves, students can increase their affection towards plants as well as raising their awareness of protecting the environment,” Ba added.
Despite the scorching climate, the school features a cool and refreshing atmosphere as the yard is shaded by dramatic, tropical almond trees, the reporters said.
“It used to swelter here this time five years ago,” Pham Thi Anh Hoa, the school’s principal, recalled, saying that the managing board could no longer bear seeing students study in such an uncomfortable environment, so it decided to ‘green’ the school.
“To be honest, the school cannot afford to buy trees, so I tried asking some friends of mine to donate some plants,” she said.
“Some parents paid attention, even offering us fully-grown ones,” Hoa said happily.
“We also countered the other issue of not having the funds to hire gardeners to take care of the trees,” she said, adding that this was turned into another positive in helping students to have “a truly green educational environment” since they could learn how to plant and take care of trees themselves as one of their extracurricular activities, alongside lessons about protecting the environment in classes.
Le Ba Trinh Elementary School in Ngu Hanh Son District also applied the model, in which the school’s playground was greened and sets of outdoor tables became shaded sanctuaries for students to relax on or use for extracurricular activities.
Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa, the principal, said that she and other teachers went to houses in the area to ask for old trees to plant at the school.
“Each tree will be taken care of by a class under the guidance and support from its head teacher in order to keep the plant in the healthiest condition,” the principal said, adding that the school also leverages the green environment to create outdoor reading areas and diversify learning experiences.