SMK CONVENT BUTTERWORTH: Green Activities Produce Environmentally Conscious Students
The students of SMK Convent Butterworth in Penang, through a host of go-green activities, have successfully created a garden and an amiable learning environment in their school. The environmental activities conducted by the school ensure the students are inculcated with the right values to nurture nature and further manifest these values in all their future conduct.
The credit goes to the school teacher, Phan Cheng Mun, and its principal, Lim Lean Yolk, for their untiring and concerted efforts to see that the students of their school not only excel in their studies but also be equipped with environmentally conscious traits.
Phan Cheng Mun, who is also the Senior Assistant of Co curricular, had formed a Green Squad in her school. 20 students were selected to lead and conduct go-green activities. These leaders facilitate activities, supervise and guide the rest of the students to carry out their tasks accordingly.
Activities such as gardening, rainwater harvesting, collecting rice-washed water, composting, selling eco-bags, harvesting and selling vegetables, beach cleaning, and a lot more, have turned the school into a hive of environmental activities.
We have sold our plants and growth promoters at Grow Market in Auto City, Penang and at Bagan Ajam market. The income from the sale goes into the school’s Eco fund. All these activities instilled a sense of responsibility in the students,” explained the teacher.
Under the concept of ‘My Green Wall’, the walls of the schools were decorated with an array of greenery, all of which had added some serenity to their surroundings. “We are all aware of the healing power of nature. So, in our school, we have set up a stress relief corner adorned with soothing plants and facilities for students to relax, read and doodle,” added Phan.
SMK Convent Butterworth’s principal, Lim Lean Yolk, is down-to-earth in her approach. “While some individuals’ sincere efforts to go green and do their bid to save mother earth are commendable, we can’t expect all to tread the same path, despite it being an urgent need of our planet.
The most practical way of achieving anything is for the individual to set a good example followed by exhorting others to do the same,” stressed Lim.
The principal herself plunged into action by collecting pineapple peels from fruit vendors to make fruit enzymes, which are then sprayed on plants in the school. “The fruit enzyme is prepared by combining 3kg of pineapple peels, 1kg of brown sugar and 10 litres of water in a container. The mixture is stirred weekly for 3 months. It is then sifted and mixed with water before being sprayed on plants. The enzyme revives the languishing plants and makes the flowers bloom. Students, too, find it easy to learn and interesting.
During the Chinese New Year season, we requested that all students bring mandarin orange peels to the school to demonstrate that the same enzymes can be created using different fruit peels. In a way, it is the foundation laid by the school to enable students to innovate their own methods to convert waste into useful things,” explained the principal.
For all the sincere and earnest efforts of the students and teachers in making the school a greener and healthier learning place, SMK Convent Butterworth has been honoured with a Green Flag Award by WWF Malaysia under the Eco-Schools Programme for the year 2022.