Forum: The topic of food sustainability is part of environmental education in schools

We thank Ivan Wan Bin Hor, editor of the Youth Forum, for highlighting the efforts of schools in environmental sustainability and his enthusiasm in this area (Students, schools can do more to reduce food waste, 5 September ).

Mr. Wan will be happy to know that topics such as waste reduction and food sustainability are part of environmental education efforts in all of our schools.

For example, through social studies lessons, elementary school students learn about the importance of resource conservation, the consequences of human actions on the environment, and how Singapore manages its agricultural needs. The topic of sustainable food consumption also features in our nutrition and food science curriculum. As part of their daily responsibilities, students are encouraged to adopt sustainable practices such as reducing food waste.

Schools also run their own food safety and recycling awareness programs. An example is Bukit Batok Secondary School, where students use digesters to recycle food waste from their school canteen. The leftovers are turned into compost, which is used to fertilize the plants in their school.

The Eco Stewardship program, introduced last year in all primary and pre-university schools as part of Singapore’s Green Plan 2030, will reinforce these efforts. The program connects the four areas of curriculum, campus, culture, and community, so that students learn more authentically and develop good daily habits for sustainable living.

We agree with Mr. Wan that building a culture of eco-consciousness goes beyond school efforts. That’s why we invite parent support groups and community partners to play their part in creating lasting habits outside of the classroom.

We are encouraged by his call to action for our students to do their part as individuals, and share his hope that our youth will be responsible stewards of the environment.

Beatrice Chong

Division Director, Curriculum Planning and Development Division 2

Ministry of Education