Written by Abigail Chifusa, Global Schools Project Officer
Over the past few years, Global Schools Program (GSP) Advocates around the world have worked to bring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into classrooms and curriculum in order to support a worldwide movement of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Using provided resources and methodologies, Advocates have also been able to introduce ESD to their students and fully localized the program to their community context.
GSP Advocate Amella Chong Shenshen, from the 2021 cohort, is a teacher at Riam Road Secondary School, Miri, Malaysia. She and her colleagues in the school have taken the implementation of SDGs and ESD activities within and outside the classroom to the next level. Below are some of the activities that Amella conducted, and her colleagues helped with the implementation.
Climate Action: Sharing with the Community
Ann Chin Hui (Global School Advocate Alumna 2022, Malaysia)
Riam Road Secondary School students attended the Borneo SDG Summit 2023, held on March 18th and 19th. This summit was the first of its kind in Borneo. It was organized by Junior Chamber International (JCI) Miri and Miri Entrepreneurs Incubators Club and endorsed by Miri City Council.
Five groups of students from Riam Road Secondary School, accompanied by their teachers, were tasked with creating different items for the exhibition with the theme of “Climate Action: Inspiring Changes for Better Living.” The students and teachers created a recycling app and received positive feedback about its development and software. Community leaders were very eager to support the teachers and students in order to make the app a reality.
Besides exhibiting their work at the school booth, the students also participated in fun SDG games and activities offered at the summit. One of the students, Sim Ru Yi, shares her experience:“I made lots of new friends while playing the SDG games. Out of all the SDGs, the one that attracted my attention the most was SDG 13 (Climate Action). I learned about the causes and effects of climate change as well as how to be a responsible global citizen. I also learned how to recycle paper. I had lots of fun and even won a trip to Mulu Caves!”
Students engaging with some of the visitors of the summit.
Riam Road Secondary School has offered Global Perspectives as part of the curriculum since 2020. Students not only learn about SDGs in the classroom, they also participate in school-wide activities. For example, the school runs recycling campaigns year-round. Learning about the SDGs both inside and outside the classroom imparts them with 21st-century skills and opens their mind, which also breeds empathy.
Energy, Brighter Tomorrow
Inspired by her learning of the SDGs, Kelly, a student at Riam Road Secondary School, first participated in the Cross Domain Research Forum organized by Taoyuan Creative Culture and Education Association, Taiwan in 2021, in which she wrote a research paper on non-communicable diseases, under SDG 3 (Good health and well being). In 2022, she wrote a comprehensive analysis on the solar energy systems in Malaysia and Taiwan. Her research paper, “Solar Energy, Brighter Tomorrow,” covered various aspects of the solar energy systems in both countries and has provided several useful recommendations to widen the use of solar photovoltaic cells.
Kelly also participated in the Borneo SDG Summit in Coco Cabana, in March of 2023.
Kelly shared about her research paper. “I am honored to be given an opportunity to share with the public about my research paper. During the summit, it was my very first experience to deliver a speech physically in front of a huge crowd. I managed to do so with the support and encouragement from my teachers and friends. The summit was a successful and fruitful event that inspired and impressed me a lot. I got to talk to the speakers and exhibitors, share our points of view, and how our school conducts the Global Perspectives lessons. They also shared with me how their organizations work in order to achieve those targets. I am truly inspired.”
Kelly presenting the findings of her research paper ‘Solar Energy, Brighter Tomorrow’.
Kelly’s participation as both an exhibitor and speaker in the event inspired many people to take proactive steps to become a part of the SDGs, despite their age.
A group photo with the CEO of Riam Education Group after Kelly’s presentation.
Donate Blood, Save Lives
Amella Chong Shenshen (Global School Advocate Alumna 2021, Malaysia)
A group of students and teachers from Riam Road Secondary School organized a blood donation drive in the school hall in order to support the high-need government hospital in Miri, Malaysia. This was a joint effort project between the Leo Club and SDGs driving committee of Riam Road Secondary School.
Students helping the staff from Miri Hospital Blood Bank to set up the equipment for the blood donation.
This initiative emphasized the importance of community members playing an active role to ensure that the blood supply in the local hospital is always sufficient.
Blood donors donating blood during the blood donation session.
Chong Sin Yee, the student Organising Chairman of the Blood Donation Drive commented, “this opportunity has not only given the students the awareness of the importance of blood in saving lives, I personally have benefited a lot too. By playing a leadership role in this event, I managed to improve my organizational and communication skills. I got to interact with people that were out of my social circle. My problem-solving skills were also improved.”
At the end of the drive, a total of 23 pints of blood were collected from teachers, staff, parents, and students. Through this blood donation, the school also managed to achieve SDG 17 (Partnership for the Goals), as they saw local businesses come together to contribute towards the goodie bag for donors.