Students, who account for one fourth of the country’s population, have applied their awareness and knowledge about natural resources and environmental protection to practical activities.
Students and staff of the Ho Chi Minh City Open University on June 21 plant trees in An Thoi Dong commune in Can Gio district. This was one of the university’s activities to mark the Action Month for the Environment. Photo courtesy of the university
Tran Thi Thanh Tuyet, a senior at Ho Chi Minh City Open University, for example, drew a painting of a dad and a daughter collecting garbage on the beach to show the importance of small actions.
“Everyone can do this and join others to protect the living environment,” Tuyet said.
Her painting was among several displayed at the university’s campus calling for environmental protection.
Tuyet said she has also limited the use of plastic bags. If she cannot avoid using them, she puts them in used plastic bottles and gives them to non-profit organisations that make bricks for building houses in rural areas.
In another project, a student team at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology made a smart recycling bin which classifies waste by using artificial intelligence and sensors to sort plastics, cans and cartons. The bin has an LCD screen that interacts with users.
Their prototype won third prize in the 2nd annual investor-style pitch competition, Maker to Entrepreneur: Venture Demo Day, held last week at the American Centre in Ho Chi Minh city.
Earlier, on June 21, students and staff of the Ho Chi Minh City Open University planted trees at An Thoi Dong commune in the city’s Can Gio district.
Nguyen Minh Ha, the university’s rector, said: “Each student planted two or three trees to produce more oxygen for people. This is a small action, but a large contribution to environmental protection.”
Planting of trees encourages young people nationwide to join others in restoring the “green lung” of the earth, Ha added.
The university’s students have also reduced the use of plastic products and collected used batteries for recycling.
Students at the university’s Biotechnology Faculty carried out a model called Wetlands to guide households to treat water waste and protect fresh water sources.
Tran Nhut Thanh, a second year student at Ho Chi Minh City Open University, said: “The university’s activities created chances to learn and have deeper awareness about global warnings and climate change which have affected the life of people and animals."
Thanh also drew an artwork about the high risk of animal extinction in the world to raise students' awareness about animal protection.
Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Phuc said: “More than one million educational managers, teachers, lecturers and 23 million students are a large force that can communicate and educate others and encourage the community to have more awareness and responsibilities in environmental protection and adapt to climate change toward sustainable development.”
The ministry has instructed educational establishments and universities nationwide to strengthen IT application in education and communication of issues related to environmental protection. They should communicate on their websites, Facebook page, and via messages, Phuc said.
Students have been required to study about environmental protection, biological diversity, natural preservation, natural calamity prevention, and adaptation to climate change in their training programmes, he said.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, 2020 is an important year for countries to make a commitment to biological diversity and natural preservation. Many activities are needed to restore degraded ecosystems, adapt to climate change, and enhance food security on the planet.