From a classroom setting to the exploration of nature, Class 702 students of Mount Saint Mary School were given the opportunity to do an off island tour visit to the Mamanuca group.

Mana Island Resort Environment program provided them the learning background on how a particular island community interacts with its environment and how they do their best to restore it.

Mrs Narayan the Excursion Coordinator stated that ‘Basic Science and Social Science lessons normally cover our immediate environment and helps us interact with our community respectively, however with the present environmental issues of Global Warming and sea rise, we need to be part of our future that may or may not comply with our interests and inspirations.

As a classroom teacher I feel it is a great opportunity for pupils to move out of their desks and chairs and explore the world around them. Thus, we decided to do an excursion tour to allow our students to be opened minded and more exposed to real life situations. We often learn about Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. How often we feel there is a great need to restore what we take from our environment? Mana answered our questions”, said Mrs Narayan.

Mrs Narayan added ‘I had recently learnt about Mana great efforts in restoring the environment for its sustainability. I had been to Mana 23 years ago and remembered it as an unspoilt paradise. I wished to see a new Mana of course, and how it was carrying on its duty towards its people. Mana Island showed us few of its initiatives. Firstly the students were so captivated in the Environment presentations by Mamanuca Environment Society (MES).

All eyes were on the MES presenter when we teachers continue to ask for attention when in the classroom! The presentation was a very organized and clear presentation with great information and the students remembered well what to write in their task sheets’.

The students have a notion that a resort means swimming pool, buffet meals and water sports. Mana let us see more to that. Even the accompanying parents appreciated the fact that Mana really goes out and does coral planting. How many of these students really knew that coral can be planted and there is the Crown of thorns removal program.

The marine sanctuary and the turtle breeding an exciting piece of information for the students. The tour to the hydroponic, organic farm and the desalination process and how recycle was used was just too good.

The semi submarine ride for coral viewing and the projects done under water was mostly well taken by students who said, Wow, Wow, and Wow! as the boat moved into these areas.

Mrs Narayan added that ‘Mana has really interacted well with its environment and the teamwork is unbelievable. Mana is achieving a milestone in a sustainable environment so we all can become contributors in some way or the other.

This writer took 30 students to explore this aspect of sustainability at Mana. They are now our ambassadors to this great undertaking and given the opportunity to come out of classrooms and be part of your Project E for a day!

Marica Vakacola