A PHILIPPINE school has become a Top 3 finalist in the new World’s Best School Awards, worth US$250,000, presented this year by T4 Education in partnership with Accenture and American Express.

Bonuan Buquig National High School, a public high school in Dagupan, Pangasinan, restored lost mangroves to reverse environmental devastation and placed third for the World’s Best School for Environmental Protection Award.

According to the organizers of the event, the world’s top five school awards – Cooperation with the community, environmental protection, innovation, overcoming challenges and supporting healthy living – praise educational institutions for their important role in the development of the next generation of students and their great contribution to education. especially the progress of society after the pandemic.

In addition to Accenture and American Express, the awards were founded by T4 Education in collaboration with Yayasan Hasanah, Templeton World Charity Foundation, Lemann Foundation, D2L, Mellby Gård and Universidad Camilo José Cela to share the best practices of life-changing schools. makes a real difference to their students and their communities.

“[We are] We are proud to partner with T4 Education on the World’s Best School for the Environment Award, which celebrates schools’ incredible efforts to empower the next generation to use new technologies and innovative practices that address global sustainability challenges that affect us all.” and Accenture CEO Peter Lacey said. “Through this award, we aim to recognize the tools and techniques that schools are developing and share them with a wider audience, enabling others to replicate their work and increase their impact at speed and scale. Teachers everywhere will be inspired by the example of this outstanding Filipino school.”

“We are excited to recognize students and teachers who are taking action to protect the environment and their futures,” said Madge Thomas, American Express’ Head of Corporate Sustainability. “As we … work to advance climate solutions, we will continue to support programs and partnerships like these to help build more climate-resilient and just communities.”

Thomas continued: “The World’s Best Schools Awards highlight the experience of inspiring schools from around the world. It’s time for governments everywhere to listen to their voices.”

Vikas Pota, founder of T4 Education and the World’s Best Schools Awards, said: “As the world… tries to rebuild from the pandemic, if we don’t take urgent action on education, many children will continue to be left behind.” “Leaders need to learn from the knowledge and experience in our schools, because those on the front lines of education know better than anyone the change we need to see.”

Reversal of destruction

In 2009, Typhoon Pepeng (internationally known as Parma) flooded two-thirds of the city. Fish ponds, rice fields and other industries in the community were severely damaged. Aware of its geographic challenges on land only 1 meter above sea level, the city government began dredging rivers to reduce the impact of flooding, but this came with unexpected results.

Bonuan Buquig National High School took action to support its students and protect the local environment as it planted thousands of mangrove propagules every year, which provided new habitats and shelter for fish. As a result, the mangroves along the banks of the Longos River are almost restored and stabilized.

The school also started a beach clean-up in 2014, working with volunteers on the shores of Bonuan Beach. He also planted trees to restore a local landfill. The collected litter was then classified and counted to determine the number of biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials. Reusable ones were used as garden containers and decorations.

If eventually recognized, Bonuan Buquig National High School said it will use the prize money as a fund to build a nursery that can hold about 50,000 mangrove seedlings a year, then spur much-needed research to improve techniques and technology for mangrove propagation and propagation. protection.

Next steps

The top 3 finalists for each of the five World’s Best School Awards will now be entered into a public advisory vote, where the public will have until October 2 to tell the judges who should win each award at worldsbestschool.org/.

An Academy of Jurors composed of eminent leaders from around the world, including academics, educators, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, government, civil society and the private sector, will present the results of the public consultation vote and evaluate the finalists. on strict criteria.

Winners will be announced on October 19 during World Education Week, where they will each receive a $50,000 prize.

All five shortlisted schools will share their best practices during World Education Week through their School Transformation Toolkits, showcasing their ‘secret sauce’ to innovative approaches and step-by-step how others can replicate their methods to help improve education. everywhere.

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