To show assertive love for the environment, Cebu Normal University (CNU) breeds the iGreen CNU program under Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) on heart’s day, February 14, 2020 at Samuel MacClintock Hall.

Dr. Daisy R. Palompon, Vice President for Academic Affairs, considered the gathering as a collective response of CNU to address and sustain environmental conservation to avoid problems related to disasters in climate change.

“The activity is a very relevant program of the university because this does not only address our intellectual capacity but also this looks into how we transform ourselves to be more responsive citizens of the country by contributing to its sustainable development,” she expressed during her opening remarks.

A program’s success will never be fruitful without a seed planted years ago, watered with the best practices on ESD-based educational curriculums from various institutions.

Hence, Dr. Ethel L. Abao, Dean of College of Teacher Education (CTE) capsulized how CNU was given opportunity to integrate ESD into existence.

She then narrated that it started with a preliminary meeting, the International Conference for Climate Change Experts last 2014 in Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines followed with the Southeast Asia Sub-Regional Workshop on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for Teacher Education Institutions on Chang Rai, Thailand last 2017.

Though grand, ESD did not close doors for Cebu to host a prestigious gathering and later on, an Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) In-country workshop was held at Harold’s Hotel, Cebu last November 20-22, 2017, followed by review workshops and back to the international setting specifically in Okayama Japan where the Asia Pacific Meeting on Teacher Education for ESD: Towards Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through Education last November 27-29, 2018 transpired.

Before CNU opened its portal to ESD, a second Asia Pacific Meeting on Teacher Education for ESD: Towards Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through Education last September 17-19, 2019 was administered to fully filter the development of the program.

As the call of time returned its good luck for CNU, the administration, faculty, and staff launched iGreen CNU with warm greeting of congratulations through a video presentation from Dr. Ethel Agnes Valenzuela, Head of Seameo Secretariat, Dr. Robi Guevara, Associate Professor and Writer of ESD Books under the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Dr. Sok Soth of Nompen, Cambodia, Dr. Chanita, Vice-Chancellor of Siam University in Thailand, Dr. Munirah, The Regional Center of Expertise on ESD, Dr. Agus Manyono, Founder and Director of River Management of Indonesia, and Hon. Nestor D. Archival Sr., who sent an approved resolution on the launching of iGreen CNU.

On the formal launching, Dr. Filomena T. Dayagbil, SUC President III, addressed that “ESD is really something that we have to take seriously” given that we are in CNU where excellence is normal.

“Excellence is not just about topping the exam, 100% performance on the board exam but also it is about cultivating significance by being part of the changing landscape of the environment. We should create an impact to society,” she added.

Consequently, Hon. Lormelyn Claudio, CESO IV, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Director of Environment Management Bureau 7 shared her gratitude on what CNU is doing at present times. Claudio also hoped for the cooperation of all the students.

“I hope [the] students will do something that would contribute to iGreen CNU and sustain it to really protect the environment,” she said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jennifer D. Pańo, ESD Focal Person presented the framework of CNU which is the “GC. AC. W.I.S.E” that stands for Green Curriculum, Air Conservation, Water Conservation, Infrastructure, Solid Waste Management, and Energy Conservation along with ESD’s 3 pillars “SEE” which stands for Social, Economic, and Environment.

During the talk of ESD on Philippine setting, Dr. Jestoni P. Babia, ESD Director and Dean of CTE of University of San Jose Recoletos (USJR) shared that there is now a growing international recognition of ESD as an integral element of quality education and a key enabler for sustainable development.

Furthermore, one of the ESD Directors, Dr. Lynnete Matea Camello, Dean of CTE of Cebu Technological University (CTU) aimed to create an ESD Office in CTU Argao Campus coupled with their PAGLAUM Community Extension Components.

In addition to the sustainability of CNU ESD, Mrs. Rosita Lacea, ESD Focal Person in CNU Integrated Laboratory School (ILS) created ESD Teams and Clubs which include Innopreneurs (Innovative Entrepreneurs), Magalang na Tagasulong (Pinoy Ako), Wellness Enthusiasts, Engaged Environmentalist, Association of Responsible Media YoUsers (ARMY), Relevant Readers, and Wise Inventors.

In an exclusive interview with Ang Suga, Dr. Pańo, ESD Focal Person, shared that CNU “look[s] forward to be a great contributor to the ESD and a multiplier of sustainable lifestyle and most of all, be the hub of others to become SD educators.”

The participants of the launching program were entertained with the feast of dances by the CNU dance troupe.

At the end of the event, a quiz challenge on ESD was administered by the Bachelor of Secondary Education in Mathematics students in which the National Service Training Program (NSTP) students of CTE participated.

Cebu Normal University is a green university at the heart of the city attaining not only the title of being the center of excellence but also as warriors for preserving the environment at all costs.

Way forward and beyond, iGreen CNU!

Words by Jhonazel Kiskis
Photos by Aubrey Belle Ynot