As the floating classroom opened another year of sea adventure out in the pristine marine sites of Puerto Galera, new milestones have been reached.
The Sea Adventure School’s (SAS) partnership with the Department of Education and the local schools have reached a new level of sustainability as local teachers are now facilitating the SAS sessions themselves compared to last year wherein the trips and the lessons in the boat were facilitated by a Stairway staff.
This new level of increased participation among local school partners will not only reduce the cost of operating the activity but will also entail the continued capacitation of the local teachers to promote environmental awareness and protection among their students.
Science teachers from the four public high schools of Puerto Galera along with three private high schools piloted this development after undergoing SAS planning workshops at the onset and wrapped up by evaluation sessions at the end of the school year. Seventy-one percent (71%) of the 31 SAS trips conducted from January to May were done by the high school partners covering 544 participants.
The Sea Adventure School under Stairway’s Environmental Awareness for Children and Youth (EACY) has been running for 3 years now. The activity has covered a significant number of local children and youth since then.
Its main advocacy is promoting environmental sustainability here particularly in Puerto Galera- a major Philippine tourist destination as well as a UNESCO-declared Man and Biosphere Reserve.
After acquiring basic knowledge and hands on experience about the characteristics, adaptation and threats of mangroves, sea grass and corals, most of the participants have expressed in the evaluation forms that the negative behaviors they want to change are related with garbage disposal and recycling.
They also intend to pursue and join activities like community cleanups and tree planting. Ninety percent (90%) of the student participants expressed their interest to join the EACY Club, another initiative under the EACY program that enjoins children and youth to organize environmental awareness activities and projects within their community under the “child-to-child” framework.