Primary schools from Gozo and Malta celebrate Dinja Wahda awards

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Primary schools from Gozo and Malta celebrate Dinja Wahda awardsPrimary schools have been celebrating their success in connecting children with nature in a ceremony today, when a total of 91 primary schools across Gozo and Malta celebrated their outstanding achievements in BirdLife Malta’s Dinja Wahda schools programme.

This morning’s event celebrated the success of schools involvement during the scholastic year 2017-2018 and marked the launch of a new year of engagement (2018-2019).

The Awards ceremony was held for the first time at the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta. It was hosted by President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca who has this year become the patron of BirdLife Malta’s Dinja Wahda programme.

BirdLife Malta said that 60 schools received gold awards, two schools received silver awards, eight schools were awarded with bronze awards and 21 schools with certificates.

38 schools retained the blue banner after being awarded gold and six schools received a new blue banner, an award for schools who maintain the gold award three years in a row.

President Coleiro Preca presented the awards, joined by BirdLife Malta CEO Mark Sultana, BirdLife Malta Education Manager Sarah Brady and Charles Azzopardi, Executive PR & Marketing at Bank of Valletta.

Representatives from all the participating schools including students, teachers and head teachers together with other education officials were also present.

President Coleiro Preca commended the Dinja Wahda programme and the team for their contribution to implement the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goals 14 and 15, which target life below water and life on land respectively.

Apart from celebrating the success of schools involvement during the last scholastic year, today’s ceremony also marked the launch of a new year (2018-19) of engagement in the initiative.

The programme is run in collaboration with the Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education and supported by Bank of Valletta.

BirdLife Malta’s Dinja Wahda programme is run in collaboration with the Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education and is supported by Bank of Valletta. It has been running for more than 20 years.

One of the highlights of this year’s Dinja Wahda Primary prize-giving ceremony was the presentation of BirdLife Malta’s Erasmus+ project One World Learning (OWL) which will shape the future of the Dinja Wahda programme.

BirdLife Malta said that through this new environmental education programme, which includes six international partners, we shall be disseminating research which will be carried out about Maltese children’s connectedness with nature and inform the schools on how the Dinja Wahda programme will be evolving.

The final outcome will also be shared with all European member states through the BirdLife international partnership, it said.

BirdLife Malta congratulated all the participating schools for their hard work this year and gave special thanks to the Dinja Wahda coordinators who ensure the running of the programme in their school and support the teachers voluntarily.

“Without these coordinators, children would not be able to develop the skills, knowledge and values to protect the environment gained through participation in the Dinja Wahda programme,” the NGO said.

BLM also thanked Bank of Valletta “for their support as the programme’s educational partners and the Office of the President of Malta for offering to host this important ceremony for the first time at the Presidential Palace.”

Photo: Kinga Kupska and Eleni Karatzia

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