Dubai, UAE: The Prince Sultan University from Saudi Arabia emerged overall winner of The Emirates Environment Group’s (EEG) Inter-College Sustainability public speaking competition 2014 on November 27.
The inter-college competition saw students from across the Mena region taking part in spreading environmental awareness through public-speaking.
More than 60 student teams from universities in Oman, Kuwait, UAE, Saudi and Egypt took part at the competition’s 14th edition, which took place at the Knowledge Village conference centre in Dubai on November 26-27.
The event was a platform for university students to share ideas, projects and presentations about preserving and protecting the environment.
The two-day event brought together hundreds of students. Trophies were given to the winners in each of four categories: ‘Green Economy: commitment and responsibility,’ ‘The more technology we develop, the more pollution we create,’ ‘How can our curriculum protect our environment,’ and ‘Who’s responsible for food wastage.’
Gulf News spoke to Nadia Nasib, first place winner under the category topic ‘Who’s responsible for food wastage?.’ The Emirati senior university student at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management said her presentation focused on the causes of food wastage especially that Dubai is moving towards becoming more sustainable leading up to Expo 2020. “It’s important to look at who is to blame… And the answer to that is the distributors,” said Nadia. She explained that while distributors have the buying power over buyers, they should supply their products depending on a buyer’s inventory. “What happens is that food is constantly distributed and shelves are overstocked.”
Omar Al Hamadi from Al Yamamah University in Saudi Arabia tackled another environmental issue affected by the education system. Coming in at second place under the category topic ‘How can our curriculum protect our environment,’ Al Hamadi focused on ways to improve the curriculums taught in universities and schools in Saudi Arabia. “I lived in Canada for a while, and I felt the difference in teaching methods when I came back to Saudi Arabia. I think the curriculums can be improved my making them more project-based, and through the application of knowledge and critical thinking,” he explained. The Saudi senior university student said the competition has not only helped him spread environmental awareness to hundreds of other students, but has also helped him with his stage fright. “It has definitely helped me develop my public speaking skills and it’s an experience I will remember before my next presentation.”
The first place winner in the same category, Sarah Al Mowanes from Prince Sultan University in Saudi Arabia, shifted her focus to children who are left out of the curriculum and are therefore not exposed to environmental awareness. “We focused on people who do not have access to schools like those who cannot afford an education or those who are drop outs, and we have even made a YouTube channel for them that talks about environmental education,” said Sarah. The Saudi senior student said this was the second time she was participating in the competition.
At the closing ceremony, the overall winners of the competition were also announced. The Prince Sultan University took home two trophies, one for first place and one for third place. Al Yamamah University in Saudi Arabia came in second place.
© Gulf News
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