FMM Sister Molly Lim taking the teachers on an eco-tour of the Maris Stella Convent. Photo by Darren Boon
SINGAPORE – The principal of Hai Sing Catholic School has unveiled a pilot environmental programme in which staff would hold their regular seminar during the school holidays by webcast.
Charles Surin told his teachers during a brainstorming session, on what the school could do to go green, that the measure would save on the environmental impact of travelling to school.
Other ideas included submitting electronic copies of weekly lessons plans instead of printed copies, and having online quizzes for students.
Some 80 teachers from the school, set up by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) in 1959, attended an orientation day focusing on Franciscan environmental values.
Sister Mary Soh, who helped facilitate the programme, said the nuns had identified the environment as an area on which to focus, because Franciscans have a love for nature.
One way of expressing this was through Hai Sing Catholic School, she said.
She asked the school’s staff to remember the Franciscan values of caring for creation, justice for nature and of how everyone is a steward of the environment.
To emphasise the green message, the teachers were encouraged to bring their own cutlery for breakfast and lunch and taught how to wash them while minimising water usage.
FMM nuns also took the teachers on a tour of their Maris Stella Convent where they viewed gardens that grow fruit trees, herbs and spices.
English teacher Joaquina Shiow, who coordinates the school’s Catholic fellowship programme, said that the day’s activities served as a reminder of the importance of “caring for nature and to live a simple life of meeting your needs and not your wants”.
Preston Tay, 30, who teaches computing, said that global warming has reinforced the importance of integrating Franciscan values into the school curriculum so as to teach students “environmental responsibility”. UCAN
By Darren Boon