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LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, Philippines  – A guidebook to be used in teaching climate change (CC) issues in public schools in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, is off the press.

The 349-page handbook, titled Integrating Climate Change Issues in Southeast Asian Schools, is a project of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), an intergovernment treaty body founded in 1965 to foster cooperation among Southeast Asian nations in the fields of education, science, and culture.

Over the past 45 years, SEAMEO has set up 19 “centers of excellence” through which it pursues its varied programs, projects, and activities. It now has as members all the 11 Southeast Asian countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.

The guidebook on climate change was pieced together by specialists of eight of the SEAMEO centers, three of them hosted by the Philippine government.

The Philippine-based units are the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) headed by Director Gil C. Saguiguit Jr. based in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) here; SEAMEO Tropical Medicine (TROPMED)-Philippines for Public Health headed by Director Nina Gloriani hosted by UP Manila-College of Public Health; and Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (INNOTECH) headed by Director Ramon Bacani based in Diliman, Quezon City.

Also involved in the project were the SEAMEO Open Learning Center (SEAMOLEC), TROPMED-Indonesia, Regional Center for Tropical Biology (BIOTROP), all in Indonesia; Regional Center for Education in Science and Mathematics (RECSAM) in Malaysia; and SEAMEO Project for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SPAFA).

“The publication of the guidebook aims to raise the awareness level of our future citizens of Southeast Asia with their teachers’ guidance and help; so that they will take positive actions for a better quality of life on our planet,” stated the book’s Preface jointly written by the eight SEAMEO centers’ directors.

The guidebook is intended for use by teachers, curriculum developers, educators, and instructional administrators responsible for connecting academic concepts with climate change issues in their respective schools and communities across Southeast Asian countries.

It also presents lesson exemplars using CC issues and environment-oriented or eco-friendly activities as learning context. Moreover, it describes strategies to integrate climate change issues and adaptation concepts in classroom teaching and how to assess the effectiveness of such an integrated learning system.

The initial proposed handbook was among the programs and projects discussed by the SEAMEO Council (SEAMEC) at its 45th annual meeting at Shangri-La’s Resort Hotel in Lapu-Lapu City (Cebu) last Jan. 26-29.

SEAMEC, currently headed by Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro, president, is SEAMEO’s highest policymaking body composed of the education ministers of the organization’s 11 member-countries.

In pushing the bookwriting project, SEAMEC stressed:

“The issue of global warming is alarming and the impact of climate change is catastrophic if nothing is done to curtail its effects. It is important that we familiarize the youths with scientific coping mechanisms on what we know today so that they become aware of the causes of climate change and understanding what they can do to mitigate it.” (By Rudy Fernandez)

 

Source: The Philippine Star | 16 January 2011

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