Implementing education about and for the environment a focus at workshop for teachers


Contact: Center for Communication and Community Engagement, Tel: 074 3855 246 (ext 237)

TRA VINH, 23.2.2014 – Tra Vinh University (TVU) conducted a regional workshop on environmental sanitation on its Campus One from February 20 to 21, 2014, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET).

More than 120 delegates attended, including 107 representatives of teaching and managerial staff from 50 community colleges of the 13 provinces in the Mekong Delta.

The workshop is a sequel to the national target program on water safety and unified school sanitation for the period 2012-2015 instructed by the Vietnamese central government.

The TVU workshop is part of the follow-up of the Green Campus Joint Activities of Swinburne and Tra Vinh Universities, which, in January 2014, brought 18 students and three academics from Swinburne University, Australia, to Tra Vinh University for a 2-week program to jointly boost environmental awareness.

‘The Senior Management of TVU is fully committed to environmental sustainability, and very much welcomes today’s workshop which should help us continue to find ways for improved green campus action plans in our university and the local community,’ TVU’s Vice-Rector Nguyen Tien Dung noted at the opening of the workshop.

Dr Ho-Dac Tuc explaining basic environmental concepts
Dr Ho-Dac Tuc, Deputy Dean of TVU’s Faculty of Foreign Languages, led the discussions on ‘education about and for the environment’ with a focus on integrating environmental education across the curriculum to complement awareness and environmental actions.

‘Understanding the environment together with a thorough knowledge of basic environmental concepts such as ecological footprint and biodiversity are essential prerequisites for students to actively participate and engage in managing the environment,’ he said.

‘Teachers, supported by Senior Management, play a crucial role in environmental education which means, not only learning about the environment, but also about changing behaviors and lifestyle in ways that help promote green activities and sustain the environment,’ Dr Ho Dac Tuc added.

To this end the actual working example of Swinburne and Tra Vinh Universities’ joint students activities on environmental sustainability and management during a 2-week period in January 2014 was introduced to the participants.

The exemplar suggests a framework for integrating environmental education across key learning subjects and introduces positive environmental changes.

Dr Do Manh Cuong from Ministry of Health provided a long list of sanitation problems that are related to poor hygiene.

He said unhygienic toilet conditions were related to diseases such as diarrhea and parasitic worm infections that cause many people to fall ill or even die.

He went on talking about strategies to reduce the prevalence of diseases that include construction of safe toilets at local schools, and expanding access to improved water and sanitation facilities.

Mr-Nguyen Tien Dung-promoting TVU green campus project
Ms Thach Thu Trang of TVU’s Center for Climate Change and Community Development provided the participants with a briefing note on sanitation and environmental problems in Tra Vinh province. She suggested that to improve the sanitation environment of schools, education and awareness-raising campaigns for better hygienic practices are needed.

Mr Nguyen Tien Dung told participants that one of the biggest challenges to implementing environmental education is having international experts to train local teachers.

The Swinburne academics visiting TUV last month are expected to establish annual activities with TVU leadership to further develop and reinforce the concepts of Green Campus.


Tra Vinh University (referred to as TVU) is a public university located in the city of Tra Vinh, a beautiful green city of trees, parks, rice fields, and rivers in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. TVU has grown from Tra Vinh Community College and earned the university status in 2006. More than 20,000 students are currently enrolled in TVU’s 12 faculties.