The Purpose of the Youth for Environment in Schools Organization (YES-O) of DepEd

by Diana E. Rodriguez
Science Teacher
San Jose Pili National High School

The state of environment is a reminder of what we as human are capable of inflicting nature, which is in perfect harmony with its elements. In this, regard, the role of education is critical as it is the cornerstone of a modern society. It does not only determines the present level of progress of people of a society but also charts our future course of advancement of the civilization. Therefore, in view of the current environmental crisis, the content of education requires restructuring. This would mean that education system across the world would require not only to make a person employment worthy, it would have capacitate people with values that would help them understand their relationship with the society and environment. In this context, education will have to go beyond mere transfer of information.
The Department of Education (DepEd) has taken steps to strengthen environmental education in public and private schools to boost government efforts in dealing with climate change. The Department issued Dep.Ed Memorandum Order No.52 s. 2011 directing schools to intensify environmental education and pushed for the creation of student-led environmental awareness groups in school. The order was in compliance with Republic Act 9512 or “ An act to Promote Environmental Education for other Purposes”. In view thereof, the Department of Education, in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), established the YOUTH for Environment in Schools Organization (YES-O) under DepEd Order No. 72 s. 2003 entitled “ESTABLISHMENT OF THE YOUTH FOR ENVIRONMENT IN SCHOOLS ORGANIZATION (YES-O).”
The Youth for Environment in Schools Organization (YES-O) shall serve as significant venue for students’ actions and movements toward safeguarding, protecting and conserving the environment for future generations. It has the following objectives: a. Be aware and create awareness in others of the state of the Philippine environment and ecology, including prevailing issues and concerns relative thereto; b. Establish specific and doable programs projects and activities to address issues and concerns on environment and ecology; c. Network with other government and non- government organizations, including Youth for Environment in Schools Organization (YES-O) n other schools within the division and region, with regard to support and assistance to programs, projects and activities of the organization; d. Encourage community participation and initiative in environmental and ecological movements and actions; and e. Develop among members and the community proper environmental values, skills and attitudes. 
It is implemented in different schools because these young adults are important audience for environmental education since they are tomorrow’s leaders and resource users. And in some cases students/children can influence parents and other community members. Thereby, increasing their awareness and knowledge that would help form attitudes and facilitate action projects on behalf of the environment. And most importantly, would be motivated to act environmentally friendly and respect nature as a whole.