Green rating for schools launched in RAK

Schools will be assessed for environmental best practices from this year

Staff Report
15:07 October 7, 2017

Ras Al Khaimah: A new grading system for schools across Ras Al Khaimah was introduced on Thursday to encourage students to become “green ambassadors” or advocates for the environment.

Ras Al Khaimah schools will be assessed and graded to measure their commitment to environmentally sustainable practices in the 2017/18 academic year.

The new ‘Green Rating’ system for schools is a joint scheme being launched by the Ras Al Khaimah Waste Management Agency (RAKWMA), a subsidiary of the Public Works Department, and the Ras Al Khaimah Education Zone.

The programme is with the support of His Highness Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. It aims to ensure that students and teachers across the emirate are learning more about sustainable environmental practices and developing more proactive and positive responses to environmental issues, through evaluating and grading participating schools based on a set of established criteria.

Janet Hartzenberg, RAKWMA’s outreach co-ordinator, said the new Green Rating system provides schools with an accepted, standard measure in which they can record their efforts, encouraging the youth to be active participants in protecting the environment in Ras Al Khaimah and to make schools cleaner and greener.

“We will be evaluating and grading schools to ascertain whether they are participating in environmentally friendly projects and initiatives, and working to gain an understanding of how ‘green’ the schools in Ras Al Khaimah currently are,” Hartzenberg said.

“We want students and teachers to be more aware about the decisions that they make in their day-to-day lives and the effect that they have on their surroundings, whether it’s recycling, reducing the amount of paper they are using, or volunteering in community efforts. All of these actions can and will make a difference, and schools will now be rewarded for their participation.”

Participating schools will be assessed on criteria including their registration with the Ras Al Khaimah Waste Management Agency’s recycling programme and their level of participation. A school’s Green Rating can be improved through introducing ‘Green Ambassadors’, implementing and participating in environmental activities such as exhibitions and clean-up campaigns. Training and volunteering will also be rewarded.

Evaluations will be shared with schools and grading given in the form of recycling symbols on an assessment rating certificate. Five symbols will the highest and one the lowest.

Schools will then be recognised and rewarded annually for their achievements.

Sumaya Al Hareb, director of the Ras Al Khaimah Education Zone, said, “We will be visiting schools and universities to introduce students and teachers to the evaluation system and share ideas for improving the school’s environmental contributions throughout the emirate. We will be encouraging schools to participate fully from the 2017-2018 academic year.”