The Bee’ah School of Environment (BSOE), a dynamic environment education initiative led by the Sharjah-based innovation leader and sustainable solutions pioneer, Bee’ah, honored winners of its 2019 competitions during a special award ceremony which was held at the Jawahar Reception and Convention Center on 1st May 2019.
Now in its 9th year, BSOE is a comprehensive nation-wide environmental education programme that aims to create a greener generation through a diverse range of online and offline interactive platforms and activities. BSOE continues to witness steady growth and expansion as the programme now reaches more than 250,000 students and 6,000 teachers of all ages across the UAE.
This year’s awards ceremony commemorated the 9th edition of the Environmental Excellence School Award (EESA); a UAE-wide competition, where more than 400 participating schools presented a range of creative environmental-related projects under the theme ‘Sustainable Technology’, with this year’s awards witnessing the participation of 90 Abu Dhabi-based schools, notably expanding the reach of the community engagement initiative in the UAE. Winners across 5 categories won cash prizes ranging from AED 2,000 to AED 20,000 and totaling more than AED 130,000.
In addition, BSOE’s annual awards included the 6th Inter School Recycling Competition (ISRC); a leading Sharjah-based competition that recognizes schools that commit to collecting the highest tonnage of recyclables during an academic year.
This edition of the awards ceremony also recognized the winners of the inaugural ‘Great Battery Challenge’, which was launched last year in partnership with Duracell, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-performance alkaline batteries. This initiative aims to inspire future generations to become advocates of environmental change by championing battery recycling and promoting responsible disposal of batteries. In the last six months alone, over 100,000 batteries, weighing almost 2 tonnes, have been collected across schools in Dubai and Sharjah and prevented from ending up in landfill. The first-place winners were awarded a cash prize of AED 15,000 and second and third place received AED 10,000 and AED 5,000 respectively.
Commenting on the occasion, H.E Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Bee’ah said, “The success of BSOE today, in terms of its scope and geographical reach in the UAE, is a testament to our commitment to championing sustainability; a key pillar of Bee’ah and a major focus for our community-led efforts in the public sphere. We believe that programmes like the BSOE can create a greener generation that not only believes in the principles of environmental protection, but also adopts these principles as a lifestyle.”
Al Huraimel added, “We would like to thank our sponsors at Duracell and our partners at the UAE Ministry of Education who have contributed to the success of BSOE for nearly a decade. The continued enthusiasm, interest and innovation drives us to further diversify our initiatives, and we are pleased to recognize all participants and winners at this year’s annual competitions, as we celebrate the environmental leaders of the future and play a role in supporting the UAE’s transition to a fully-fledged knowledge-based economy.”
Hind Al Huwaidi, Outreach Manager at Bee’ah, said, “This year’s competitions have generated substantial interest and excitement in Sharjah and throughout the UAE, as students have once again been given a platform to demonstrate their creativity, energy and unique individual outlook towards best practices in sustainability and environment protection. The level of engagement in the competitions has been truly inspiring and phenomenal, and the hands-on involvement and support of teachers and parents who form the backbone of our student community, has undoubtedly been a driving force for the success and outstanding results that we see today.”
Amer Afifi, General Manager, Duracell Middle East & India said, “Duracell is committed to sustainability and to improving our environmental impact, aligned with the governments pursuit of a green economy. We are proud to join forces with Beeah, given our shared sustainability goals, to champion battery recycling and highlight the positive impact it can have on the environment. To reduce the amount of batteries that end up in landfill, its also important for people to - choose the right technology as one alkaline battery can be up to 10 times more efficient than zinc carbon batteries.”
He added, “On behalf of Duracell, I would like to thank all the schools for taking part and congratulate the winners on their efforts in this exciting new initiative. By establishing recycling habits at an early age, we hope to encourage a lifelong practice of environmentally sustainable habits.”
The EESA awards also included a special category entitled ‘Best Environment Science Experiment’ for younger students, from Grade 3 to 5, and students from the GEMS Millennium School won 1st place.
The 1st place winner of the EESA ‘Best Environmental Film Category’ for Grades 6 to 9 was the Wataniya School for Boys – Ras Al Khaimah, who were recognized for their success in providing a solution that ensures the well-being of various marine life.
For the ‘Best Environmental Invention’ category for Grades 10 to 12, the Al Alfiya Filipino Private School for Girls – Sharjah, won 1st place by submitting a distinguished project that deployed technology and creativity for a cleaner environment.
On the individual recognition level, the 1st place prize for the ‘Outstanding Student Achievement’ –award went to Sainath Manikandan in recognition of his success in having produced two easily-applicable inventions that leverage technology in aid of the marine environment. In recognition of the fundamental role that teachers play in encouraging and guiding students on environmental best practices, Anjum Hasan won the ‘Outstanding Teacher Achievement’ award.
On the recycling front, 97 schools from Sharjah participated in the Inter-School Recycling Competition, (ISRC) collecting an impressive 327.78 tons of recyclable material. The India International School – Sharjah won the 1st place in the Large Schools category, with a total tonnage of 35.692. Al Shifaa Bint Abdallah School won 1st place in the Medium Schools category with 13.579 tonnes, while Al Sahwa Primary & Secondary School bagged 1st place in the Small Schools category with 13.099 tonnes.
In the Great Battery Challenge, the India International School secured the first place, while the Sheikha Maryam Primary School and the Gulf Asian English School won the second and third places, respectively.
Source: Hill+Knowlton Strategies