After teachers finish delivering our eight-lesson Environmental Education Program, we visit the school for a short interview with the teacher, so that we can evaluate the program and learn how to improve it in the future.
Below is an interview by Saras, our Research Officer, with Pak Hindu Komang, the Year 6 teacher at SDN 15 Dangin Puri who has taught three classes from the BfB Education Program to date, and is currently teaching the fourth!
What is your favourite part of the program?
I like Lessons 4 (how is plastic made?), 5 (the age of waste – biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials) and 6 (the journey of plastic waste – where does it go when we throw it away?).
I also like Lesson 7 when students make handy crafts from reused materials, such as the lamp made by one of the Year 5 students.
What were your expectations for the program? Was the program as you expected?
At first I thought that my students would get bottles without doing an education program, but then I learnt that the students need to do eight lessons before they get the bottles. The program is in accordance with my expectations because it can reduce plastic litter. Before the canteen sold lots of drinks in plastic cups and now they don't. Now the canteen sells water refills using water in gallons.
How did you become the Bottle for Botol teacher at your school?
First, I was invited to join a workshop by Pusat Pendidikan Lingkungan Hidup Bali (PPLH Bali) to learn about environmental education. Then they invited my school to join Bottle for Botol. I discussed the program with my Principal and she assigned me to be the BfB coordinating teacher for our school.
What did you find the most difficult part of the program?
The film in Lesson 6 about the amount of plastic in the ocean is too long and has too many big words for the Primary students. It would be better to have an animation film on the same topic instead, like in the other lessons.
It is also hard for the students to understand that plastic cannot biodegrade because they see plastic that has been torn apart. It is difficult to explain that this material does not disappear.
Would you recommend Bottle for Botol to other schools?
Yes, I would. A few weeks ago I posted a photo with my students and we brought the bottles from BfB. Another teacher from another school saw my photo and they asked how they can join BfB’s program. Also if there is any opportunity for the BfB program to work with a community group, I would like to do this with my banjar (local community group).
In your opinion, have there been any significant changes in the students and/or school use of single-use plastic after finishing or during the BfB program? What has changed?
Yes, previously the students usually buy drinks in plastic cups. But today they always bring their own bottles. Before they received the bottles from BfB, they had already started to bring plastic bottles from home. Not just that but the students from Year 6 are also able to share what they learnt in BfB programs with their friends from other schools.
What would you rate the program out of 10?
Nine because some things need to be added such as the video [I mentioned before] and some sentences [need to be edited as] students do not understand.
Also the puzzle in the BfB lesson book maybe you can add some colours and it will be nicer and more interesting for students, and use a thicker paper for the puzzle.
Do you have any suggestions for how communication with your partner school could be improved?
I hope this partnership with BfB will not end, especially with our partner school in Australia. If there any opportunity, may be we (teachers from Indonesia) could visit our partner school in Australia. Our school has never been part of a program like Bottle for Botol before.
Final quote from Pak Hindu Komang…
"Bring your bottle, reduce your plastic litter!"
Written by Catherine Elliott, Dode Gargitha and Alice Sainsbury.