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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Children's education a key to a cleaner environment

Children's education a key to a cleaner environment

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A man walks by a pile of garbage in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Phnom Penh Post

Environmental issues have become a major concern for everyone. Everyone needs to participate to protect the environment.

But everyone has their own different habits and ways of living their lives that are difficult to change. Teaching children and spreading awarness on environmental issues could positively impact the environment in the  future.

Through advertising, campaign, banner, booklet, or poster, the government and some organizations educate people to care about the environment.

“Frankly speaking, before I didn’t care much about environmental issues in my community because I thought it was the government’s and some organization’s responsibility,” says Luy  Kunthea, 16, student at Hun Sen Bun Rany Wat Phnom high school.

“But now, I think everyone plays an important role in keeping it clean.

“And I would feel ashamed if anyone looked at me as a dirty person,” he says. 

Keoum Ratha, 41, thinks that if we want to educate people to care about the environment we have to start teaching them when they are young.

Ouk Modem, 21, sophomore student at Phnom Penh International University says, “I think there are still some people who do not care much about the environment. There are signs saying that people should dispose rubbish in appropriate places, but some people just don't even care. They prefer to litter.

“I think it's very difficult to persuade someone to do something,” he says.

According to him, habits are at the core of people’s behavior and are difficult to change. Therefore, educating children could be the key to have a cleaner environment in the future.

“Small children are really obedient,” says Cheat Sokunthea, 29, a kindergarten teacher at the International School Chhun Hak.

“I just tell them to clean their seat and throw their waste in the rubbish bin,” she says. “They follow my advice all the time and it becomes their habit. I do not need to tell them twice as now, they do it automatically.”

She thinks that good habits turn into good behaviors afterwards.

“I want to tell all parents to shape their children’s habit from a young age because this will influence their future. If you teach your children to care about the environment, they will always bear in mind that they have to keep everything around them clean anywhere and anytime”.

If everyone ignores this problem one day it will be out of control. The most effective way to make things change is to do it all together.

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