SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, August 19, 2021 – The Seoul Metropolitan Government, the Ministry of Environment, and the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education will jointly establish an environmental education infrastructure to respond to the climate crisis and prepare for a sustainable future.
The three government bodies will work together to build “Eco School,” a tentative name of an environmental education hub facility that provides various programs related to climate change and environmental issues. The school will be built on the site of the former Kongjin Middle School that was closed in March last year. This first metropolitan-level environmental education facility in Seoul is scheduled for completion by September 2024.
On August 18, Mayor Oh Se-hoon signed an agreement to implement the joint pilot projects for “Eco School” with Minister Han Jung-ae of Environment, and Superintendent Cho Hee-yeon of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education.
According to the plan, “Eco School” will be created as a place where not only children and teenagers but also Seoul citizens from all generations can learn and experience the environment.
At the same time, it will serve as a space of cultural and leisurely activities for the visitors.
The school will feature educational facilities, including exhibition spaces and learning rooms, as well as ecological environment spaces, such as mini-greenhouses, vegetable gardens, forests, rice fields, and ponds created on playground sites and rooftops, allowing citizens and students to receive quality environmental education.
Under the agreement, the three organizations plan to remodel the existing school buildings as zero-energy ones to present a carbon-neutral model of school buildings.
The three organizations share the budgets for the building if the school (KRW 24.2 billion in total) and its operations. The Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education will make a basic plan for the school and implement its working design. The two bodies will also jointly operate the school after the completion. Besides, they will develop educational programs by doing a research on climate and environmental educations while providing educational programs for students and citizens.
Meanwhile, the Seoul Metropolitan Government is laying the foundation for environmental education for citizens through various projects. Firstly, this year, Seoul has established its third Comprehensive Five-Year Plan for Environmental Education. Secondly, with a budget of about KRW 2 billion, Seoul is launching an environmental education portal; developing and running programs to learn carbon neutrality; and expanding the basic environmental education centers at the autonomous district level.
In addition, facilities, where anyone can enjoy hands-on programs to experience the environment, have been created and operated. They include “Seoul Upcycling Plaza,” where enables visitors to see the one-stop process of the upcycling industry; “Seoul Energy Dream Center,” Korea’s first energy-independent and eco-friendly public facility; and nine basic environmental education centers that provide environmental educations for residents.