The 4th Ekoskola Parliamentary Session
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As part of the activities marking Environment week, the House of Representatives is holding the Ekoskola parliamentary session for the fourth consecutive year. This is an annual event organized by Nature Trust (Malta) the local representatives of FEE (Federation of Environmental Education) who run the Eco-Schools programme.
This event brings together students participating in the local EkoSkola programme and the country’s main policy makers. Issues related to ways of improving the quality of life on a local and national level are debated. The main theme for this year’s session is Climate change. This year’s session will host twenty schools, six of which are making their own proposals to the house.
St Joseph School, Sliema have recited the opening prayer. St. Benedict’s College Ghaxaq primary school and Gozo College, Xewkija primary school have presented a motion by EkoSkola. These were followed by interventions from six schools on various topics related to climate change. St Edward’s College addressed the issue of street lights. Marija Regina College, Lily of the Valley Secondary Girls’ School, Mosta dealt with alternative sources of energy. St. Michael School, Santa Venera addressed the issue of water consumption while St. Joan Antide School, Gudja presented a follow up of a memorandum issued in November 2007 to all political parties on the issue of junk mail. St Benedict College Kirkop Primary school expressed their concern on the use of plastic bottles. Other schools present were given the opportunity to make additional comments.
The parliamentary sitting was chaired by the Hon. Speaker, Dr. Louis Galea. In reply to the students’ proposals, interventions were made by the Hon. Dolores Cristina, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, the Hon. Carmelo Abela, Opposition spokesperson for the Education, the Hon. Clyde Puli, Parliamentary Secretary for Youth and Sports, the Hon Rodrick Galdes, Opposition spokesperson for the environment, the Hon. Joe Cassar, Parliamentary Secretary for Health, the Hon. Charles Mangion, deputy leader of the opposition and the Hon. George Pullicino, Minister for Resources and Rural Affairs.
The EkoSkola programme includes a total of 76 participating schools from Malta and Gozo, with more than 30,000 students as active participants. It was first introduced locally in 2002 by Nature Trust (Malta) as a representative of FEE, in collaboration with the Department of Education and Culture. The initial pilot project was started with the participation of six schools. Since then the number of schools kept increasing, and four have managed to acquire the green flag – an internationally renowned eco label that evidences the school’s serious commitment to environmental improvement.
The EkoSkola programme is supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youths and Sports, The Ministry for Rural Affairs and Resources, HSBC Bank Malta and Wasteserv as its main sponsors.