Students raise awareness on COVID-19 and environment

Fr Ambrose Pereira SDB and Abigail Seta

May 21, 2020

The lively and energetic 2nd Media Education Seminar (MES) for students, concluded with a presentation of jingles and videos that raised awareness on COVID-19 and the environment. The participants are convinced to share what they have learnt and take on practical activities of tree planting and recycling.

Held at the Emmaus Conference Centre, Boroko on Sunday, 17th May, the productions created by the students reinforced the precautionary measures circulated by the State of Emergency (SOE) controller and on the seminar’s theme: “Keep it Clean. Go Green.”

Present to view the productions were Br Joy Mathew, Principal of St Charles Lwanga Secondary School, Gerehu; Charlotte Vada and Robin Lesley, Representatives of Caritas Australia; Maureen Lesley, Catholic Health Services Communication Officer and religious sisters.

The presentation commenced with student representatives speaking about their experience at the seminar. Following this was the screening of the jingles and short films. With the jingles, the students highlighted the precautionary measures to take against COVID-19 while the films dwelt on the environment. The following are the themes of the short videos:

  1. Jubilee Catholic Secondary School, Hohola: Recycling

  2. Don Bosco Technological Institute, Boroko: Rubbish

  3. Caritas Technical Secondary School, Boroko: Stop the use of plastic bags

  4. Marianville Secondary School, Bomana: Chemical usage on the environment

  5. St. Charles Lwanga Secondary School, Gerehu: A minute to save the earth

  6. De La Salle Secondary School, Bomana: Before and after COVID-19 and

  7. La Salle Technical School, Hohola: Keeping the environment clean.

“I was amazed at the superior level of presentations by the students. I couldn’t believe they were the work of secondary school students,” said Charlotte Vada, Caritas Australia.

Speaking on behalf of the principals of the schools involved, Br Joy Mathew thanked the Social Communications team for offering this unique opportunity to the students. He congratulated the students for their public speaking, critical thinking and creative production. The other guests and animators expressed similar sentiments.

The participants are challenged to change their attitudes and behaviour and put into practice what they share through audio and film. “Think not as me, but as we”, Fr Ambrose Pereira reminded the participants as he congratulated the students and thanked the animators. He invited all to reflect on how they could spread the message of Laudato Si and celebrate the Laudato Si year announced by the Holy Father, Pope Francis.

The MES was a three-day seminar held from 15th to 17th May that had forty participants from seven catholic agency schools participating. The program had sessions on the Environment and COVID-19, Audio Basics and Creation of Jingles, Video Basics, Types of Shots, The Problem Tree, Storyboard Making, Film Shooting, Video Editing and Video Presentations.

The enjoyable weekend had moments of reflection, prayer and discussion. The students were invited to reflect on what they put into practice and share their convictions through audio and film with their peers.

The weekend was organized by the Social Communications Commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference and supported by Caritas Australia, CISP, Caritas PNG, MISSIO and others.

Comments from MES participants

“I would like to create more awareness among the students, become a role model for others in the sense of environmental protection and personal hygiene and encourage the teachers to practice what they preach.” – Elisheba Semi, Student, St Charles Lwanga Secondary School.

“The Media Education Seminar has given us the opportunity to learn more about the media. It also inspires us to apply what we have learnt about the environment in our schools. – Roger Frank, Student, De La Salle Secondary School.

“I am committed to helping my school become aware of their actions and start being responsible and learn to care for the environment.” – Karen Limbe, Student, Don Bosco Technological Institute.

“For our school, we will be working closely with our administration in terms of making short awareness on COVID-19. The awareness will be in various presentation modes such as jingles, short videos and monthly articles. We are also taking into consideration what we can do to not only spread the word but practically implement what the students have learnt about the environment and how to conserve it.” – Mr Murray Misha, Teacher, La Salle Technical College.