Donation ceremony of 450 solar lighting systems to 130 schools held in Nyaung U

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Solar lighting system being distributed to representative from
government schools.

Over 13,000 students in Nyaung U township have better conditions in their school, following the donation of 450 Eneloop Solar Storage Systems to 130 schools. The donation was made by Panasonic in coordination with UNESCO and the Myanmar Ministry of Education, through the project “Strengthening Schools for Education for Sustainable Development”.
The solar storage systems were donated during a ceremony held in Nyaung U on Saturday 17 December 2016. The ceremony was attended by over 200 teachers, students, parents and school leaders from basic education schools in the township. Opening remarks were given by Dr. Thant Sin, Deputy Director-General, Department of Alternative Education, Ministry of Education. Mr. Hisakazu Maeda, Chief Representative, Panasonic Myanmar welcomed those attending. Ms. Min Jeong Kim, Head of Office, UNESCO Myanmar gave further description of the project and the role of sustainable development in our daily lives and for global prosperity. The ceremony also included Panasonic’s Eco Learning Program, in which students made their own solar lights and learned that renewable energy can reduce our carbon footprint. The importance of choosing renewable energy was emphasized by Mr. Hisakazu Maeda, as the Eco Learning program’s objective is to “raise local leaders passionate about sustainable development”. Following the ceremony, 60 school heads and teachers attended a training conducted by UNESCO to learn more about teaching sustainable development in their classrooms.
The donation of the Eneloop Solar Storage Systems is the result of the public-private partnership of Panasonic, UNESCO and the Myanmar Ministry of Education. Dr. Thant Sin stated “This is the proudest day for us since Nyaung U has been chosen as the starting point for public-private partnerships for sustainable development in Myanmar.” He further stated the importance of private sector contribution in Myanmar’s development, including the emphasis placed on private sector assistance by State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Mr. Hisakazu Maeda stated that Panasonic “believes all people benefit from access to electricity” and described Panasonic’s work to ensure all had access to electricity and especially renewable energy, and its long presence and contribution to Myanmar. The Eneloop Solar Storage Systems will provide a full day of solar lighting and access to power per each charge for the 130 schools, all of which do not currently have access to electricity.
Increasing awareness and use of renewable energy – which, as noted by Dr. Thant Sin, will be needed to sustainably answer Myanmar’s energy needs – is a featured component of the project “Strengthening Schools for Education for Sustainable Development”. The project, which will also develop teaching materials and teacher trainings, promotes knowledge and skills for sustainable development in classrooms. Sustainable development, as Ms. Min Jeong Kim described, is “development in which all are able to equally prosper and have lives with dignity for generation after generation.” She further noted this project is unique in that it brings together education, science and culture to improve lives. With these three elements, we can share in a culture of peace, using resources in a manner that allows for a harmonious society.
The project will continue through 2017, with the commitment voiced by the teachers and students at the Donation Ceremony to renewable energy and to practice their skills and knowledge for sustainable development. They will be supported by tools and trainings for their classrooms by UNESCO, the Ministry of Education, and Panasonic in their effort to “provide a better life and better world for people everywhere”.

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