The DOE has been implementing a School Outreach Programme since 2017 that involves staff from the DOE visiting schools in each district on a monthly basis to address solid waste management issues and begin to develop an environmentally friendly culture in these schools. The schools that were first to be identified in this outreach programme were Government schools with a high student population in both urban and rural communities, and needed assistance in improving the schoolyard. A monitoring system was integrated in this programme to evaluate the schools at the start of the programme and then again at the end of the school year to identify what progress, if any, the schools have made in the management of their solid waste. The Standards II and III were identified as the target groups and the programme involved the following activities with the students, teachers and/or parents:
Curricular activities, through the Physical Education and Arts/Craft classes, that engaged students to keep a clean environment and the importance thereof.
Creation of signs by students and installation throughout the schoolyard.
Planting of trees and beautification of the schoolyard.
Installation/provision of garbage boxes, drums or buckets for the schoolyard and classrooms.
Distribution of promotional items as prizes to students in the programme and other educational material.
Collection of plastics, aluminum, etc. for recycling.
Encourage small entrepreneurship by developing marketable products from waste, such as bracelets, chains, compost, etc. (dependent on the wastes being produced by the school).
Since the start of the programme, students and teachers have expressed their appreciation for the programme and principals have also indicated that they have seen a change in the students about littering and about cleaning after themselves after break time. In order to have a wide reach and also to encourage other schools, the DOE has expanded this programme using an application process, which is now open to ALL primary schools across the country.
To be able to benefit from the above-mentioned activities, principals or teachers from primary schools in Belize can apply using the application form.