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Information Note of the 2020 SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award
Submission Form and Guidelines
To request

I. Introduction 

In 2002, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 57/254 and declared the period 2005-2014 as the “United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development” (DESD). 

In its declaration, the United Nations General Assembly defined ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) as a “learning process (or approach to teaching) based on the ideals and principles that underline sustainability and is concerned with all levels and types of learning to provide quality education and foster sustainable human development – learning to know, learning to be, learning to live together, learning to do and learning to transform oneself and society.”

At the end of the DESD in 2014, the UNESCO World Conference held in Japan announced the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD aimed at generating and scaling up ESD actions at all levels and in all areas of education, training and learning to accelerate progress towards sustainable development to the post-2015 agenda.

While ESD is implemented worldwide under the GAP, in support of further promoting ESD in Southeast Asia, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (MEXT), in cooperation with the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, have shown their collective commitment to promote best practices in ESD in schools across Southeast Asia, by organising the SEAMEO-Japan Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Award.The award scheme has been held annually since 2012.

The objectives of the SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award are: 

  1. To raise awareness of ESD in schools and communities across Southeast Asia;
  2. To promote ESD best practices in schools and communities across Southeast Asia; 
  3. To share and exchange knowledge and best practices on ESD in schools across Southeast Asia and Japan;
  4. To encourage networking among schools and communities which implement ESD practices in Southeast Asian countries and Japan; and        
  5. To support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of United Nations.    
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*The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) consist of 17 integrated and interdependent global goals with associated 169 targets, which aim to shift the world on to a path towards sustainable and resilient development.

Since 2012, the Award has been conducted with the following themes and participated by the following number of schools in Southeast Asia.  

YearThemeNumber of Participated SchoolsParticipated Countries in Southeast Asia
2012Education for Disaster Risk Reduction697 Countries: 
Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
2013Values Education1268 Countries: 
Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
2014Fostering Global Citizenship for Sustainable Future639 Countries:
Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
2015Safeguarding our Cultural Traditions9010 Countries:
Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.  
2016Saving Energy438 Countries:
Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.            
2017Improving Health and Nutrition568 Countries
Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
2018Applying Local Wisdom for Environmental Conservation947 Countries:
Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Thailand.
2019Building Peace in Schools and Communities799 Countries:
Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand.
II. Theme for 2020: “Addressing Plastic Problems for Transforming Communities”  

Plastic pollution is one of the most serious threats to our environments, creating toxic exposure in every phase of its life cycle. The scale of problems created by plastic cups, bottles and containers is growing along with our population1.

Plastics often contain additives making them stronger, more flexible, and durable. But many of these additives can extend the life of products if they become litter, with some estimates ranging to at least 400 years to break down2.

Currently 13 million tons of plastic enter the world’s oceans every year. An estimated accumulation of 12 billion tons by the year 2050 lead to break outlook for all life, damaging the human health, the environment and the global economy3 . Millions of animals are killed by plastic every year, from birds to fish to other marine organisms. Nearly 700 species, including endangered ones, are known to have been affected by plastics4. It has been reported that China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam generate more ocean plastic waste than the rest of the world combined5.

To reduce and prevent the plastic waste from harming our environment and life, the 2020 SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award selects the theme “Addressing Plastic Problems for Transforming Communities”.

The objectives of this year’s award scheme are:

  1. To promote waste management system and other plastic initiatives in schools in Southeast Asia and Japan that contributes to the transformation of communities and ecosystems;
  2. To share initiatives and good practices that support sustainable development through the integration of waste management system into the holistic school programmme;
  3. To encourage schools to develop and improve current ESD activities and programmes.

Under the theme of “Addressing Plastic Problems for Transforming Communities,” the school entry should cover the following criteria: 

  1. The entry should be relevant to the theme, and provide details of school initiative/programme/innovation related to plastic waste management practices or others which the school has tackled the problems of plastics as a whole in school and community.
  2. The entry should demonstrate how the school’s initiative/programme transform the community and  provide impactful evidence in reducing the plastic usage and/or improving the plastic waste management system as well as clean the ecosystem of the community.  
  3. The entry should demonstrate the community engagement with multisectoral partners that create mutual beneficial partnerships, deepen student learning experiences, support student growth, and sustain the society.     
  4. The school should clearly demonstrate the integration of the school initiative/programme in all schools’ aspects such as school policy, management plan, curriculum, teaching and learning practices, co-curricular and student activities, partnership efforts, community participation, and so on. (Please refer to the “Submission Form”.)    

3 Natural Sciences: Science for Sustainable Human Living in Asia-Pacific, UNESCO Bangkok, 2019        

III. All schools in Southeast Asian countries are invited to enter the competition

All public and private kindergarten/elementary/secondary/vocational and technical schools in 11 Southeast Asian countries – namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam – are invited to submit information about programme/project/initiative that are related to the theme of this year’s competition.

IV. Prizes
1) 1st Prize WinnerUSD$1,500A study tour to Japan(The organizer will sponsor the travel expenses for four to six persons, which includes round-trip airfares, accommodation for three nights, domestic transportation in Japan, interpreter, and visa fees).
2)  2nd Prize WinnerUSD$1,0003)  3rd Prize WinnerUSD$500
4) A Special Prize from the SEAMEO Secretariat for the best programme carried out in small schools of less than 250 students USD$1,000

All winning schools will receive a Plaque of Recognition and Certificate of Appreciation for teachers and students involved in planning and implementing the school’s programme. 

A representative from the winning schools will be sponsored to participate at the award presentation ceremony which will be held at the SEAMEO High Officials Meeting in Bangkok in November 2020.   

All shortlisted schools will receive Certificate of Recognition for the school. The coordinators of shortlisted schools (Maximum of 2 persons) will receive the Certificate of Appreciation.    

All participating schools that have submitted entries relevant to the theme will be recognised (name, project name and country) on the SEAMEO website and receive the Certificate of Participation.     

V. Judging criteria

The judging committee will consider the following criteria in selecting the winning schools:  

  1. Transformation of Community and Impacts to Community/Ecosystem  
    • The school’s programme has demonstrated the transformation of community in reducing the plastic usage and improving the waste management system and ecosystem of the community.
    • Results, during/after implementation, have revealed the effectiveness and benefits of the school’s programme to students, teachers, parents, communities and ecosystems.
    • The school’s programme has demonstrated the change of attitudes, values, and behaviors at an individual level, including students, teachers, parents and people at community.        
    • Information, data, and models have been effectively compiled, documented, and shared within the schools, among schools in one community, and at the broader provincial or national level.
  2. Integration of Strategies/ Modalities for Implementation 
    • Implementation of the school’s programme is emphasized and incorporated into school policies, management plans, and teaching and learning strategies within the school.
    • The school has demonstrated clear effective strategies, and programme components/activities on how to implement the school’s programme.    
    • Appropriate and effective methods and resources are used to implement the programme. 
    • Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms or processes are identified to ensure the immediate and long-term outcomes. 
  3. Innovation and Creativity
    • The school’s programme has demonstrated innovative practice in reducing plastic usage and wastage in the school, community and ecosystem.   
    • The school has demonstrated innovative ideas for utilising available resources.  
  4. Teaching and Learning Approaches 
    • The school has demonstrated effective and innovative teaching and learning approaches that have been applied to reduce the plastic usage and improve the waste management system in its school and community environment.  
    • The school has embedded the proper knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, behaviors and daily practices into subject disciplines and incorporated ESD principles and pedagogical methods to ensure that students are able to connect the practices in their daily life, and community.  
    • The teaching and learning approaches have demonstrated the change or transformation of attitudes, values, and behaviors of teachers and student in the school.        
  5. Participatory Approach and Engagement of Community    
    • The school has demonstrated the use of participatory processes – involving students, teachers, parents, communities’ stakeholders and partners – in planning and implementing the programme.
    • The school has engaged community-level partners such as community stakeholders, experts, local governors, practitioners and parents in the programme.   
    • The school’s programme has strengthened students’ involvement in the local community.
  6. Sustainability 
    • The school has included the initiative/waste management practice within the school management plan and teaching and learning activities across subjects for a long-term action strategy.
    • The school has demonstrated a clear future plan on how to sustain or scale up the programme.        
  7. Interrelationship with other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
    • The school has demonstrated that the school’s programme has integrated the improvement of other SDGs, not the individual pursuit of each SDG, but has interrelation with other SDGs. Therefore, the school should make a clear statement in its application on how the school’s programme connects to other SDGs.
VI. The judging committee

The Judging Committee consists of experts in the areas of education for sustainable development, and waste management from Japan and the Southeast Asian region. The decision of the Judging Committee is final and challenges/appeals are not allowed.

VII. Guidelines for submission of entries
  1. Schools can submit information about the school’s programme/project/activity related to the theme “Addressing Plastic Problems for Transforming Communities” from 10 April to 14 August 2020. 
  2. The deadline of entry submissions is Friday 14 August 2020(Late submission will not be accepted.)   
  3. Each school can submit only one entry.
  4. The submission of the school’s programme must be done through the template “Submission Form of 2020 SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award”or requested from email address:
  5. Regarding the submission of entry, each school must adhere to the following format, as specified in the Submission Form:
    • Part I – Information about the school; 
      • School name and contact details 
      • Brief information about the school such as number of teachers and students and educational level
      • Contact details of the coordinator
    • Part II – Information about the school’s programme; 
      • Title of the school’s programme 
      • Summary of the programme (one half-page of A4 sheet size)    
      • Background information or reasons why the school created the programme
      • Objectives/goals of the programme 
      • Period of time when the programme was/has been started  
      • Key knowledge, skills, attitudes/values, and behaviors that the school expects to develop from this programme     
      • Activities (Strategies/activities of implementation, and brief information of each activity)      
      • Teaching and learning approaches/strategies that the school has integrated for this school programmme
      • Participation with the community/roles of community     
      • Transformation to the community and ecosystem (Brief information of activities that the school, students, and teachers have contributed for the improvement of  community/ecosystem.)  
      • Programme for monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and summary of results
      • Resources used for programme implementation  
      • Benefits/impacts/positive outcomes of the programme to students, teachers, parents and school.  Please include evidence of achievements (How the school’s programme has transformed the behavior of students, teachers and parents to improve the school’s environment in reducing the plastic usage and wastage?)    
      • Benefits/impacts/positive outcomes of the programme to people in community, and ecosystem.  Please include evidence of achievements (How the school’s programme has transformed the behavior of people in the community in reducing the plastic usage and wastage and improve the ecosystem of the community?)      
      • Plan for sustainability and plan for scaling-up/expansion
      • Interrelationship of the school’s programme with other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
      • List of attachments such as a copy of the school operational plan, action plan, learning/teaching materials, lesson plans, samples of student worksheet, manuals, etc. (Maximum of five files to be attached with the Submission Form)
      • Photographs related to the school programme (Maximum of five photographs with captions written in English)  
  6. Information about the programme (Part II as above) should not be over nine (9) pages of A4 in total. The information should be written in Times New Roma/Calibri font, 11-12 point size. (A half-to-one page A4 sheet size about the project overview should be included.)
  7. Information about the programme and the photo captions must be in English. The teaching and learning materials can be in local languages, however a brief translation in English should be provided.     
  8. All submissions should include related photos. A maximum of five (5) photographs with captions written in English can be attached in the Submission Form.
  9. All submissions can be attached with a maximum of five (5) supporting documents (Optional). 
  10. How to Submit the Entry: Schools can submit the completed “Submission Form of 2020 SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award” and a maximum of 5 supporting documents/materials to the following SEAMEO Secretariat’s email:  
    email to: seameojapan.award@seameo.orgNote: To align with the ESD practices and to save the environment and energy, the Committee will NOT accept the entry in hard/printed copies.
  11. All entries submitted to the SEAMEO Secretariat will be acknowledged. If the school has not received any acknowledgement of the receipt from the SEAMEO Secretariat within one week after the submission, please contact the SEAMEO Secretariat (Email:
VIII. Important dates
10 April to 14 August 2020Period for submission of entries to the SEAMEO Secretariat by schools.
Friday 14 August 2020The last day for submission of entries.
(The schools must ensure that the SEAMEO Secretariat receives their entries by 14 August 2020 – strict deadline)   
  20 October 2020Announcement of the winning schools on the SEAMEO website
   30 November 2020 Award presentation ceremony for the winners at the SEAMEO High Officials Meeting in Thailand
April/May 2021Study visit programme in Japan for the 1st prize winner
IX. Contact information
For enquiry, please contact: 
Ms Piyapa Su-angavatin
SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award 
SEAMEO Secretariat
920 Sukhumvit Road, Klongtoey District,
Bangkok 10110, THAILAND.
Tel: +662 391 0144
Fax: +662 381 2587
X. Information/resources for reference
  1. Information about the 2020 SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award (Theme: Building Peace in Schools and Communities)
  2. Other relevant resources:

For more information please open this link

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