Owing to COVID-19 development and relevant social-distancing restrictions, most of our classes and activities were held online. We only managed to organize a field trip to Ha Pak Nai in groups in 2020-21 Term 2 when the pandemic situation turned better. For students, to engage finally in an activity on-site was particularly precious.
Walking in the tidal belt along the coast of Lower Pak Nai, feet sunk in the muddy beach, students helped remove cement pillars left behind by previous oyster farmers. This facilitated the restoration of oyster reefs and the ecological balance of the tidal belt. While performing their tasks, students discovered different marine organisms, including horseshoe crabs, fiddler crabs, shrimps, and a jellyfish stranded on the shore. Unfortunately, there was a large pile of rubbish as well. Other than gaining irreplaceable hands-on experience in the tidal area, students were able to reflect on the intimate and essential relations between lives and the earth, and between Man and Nature introduced in Carson’s Silent Spring. They also got to understand the history of the local oyster farming industry and its recent development, and better appreciate the importance of “decent work and economic growth” in this local industry (SDG#8). They became familiar with the challenges discussed in “life below water” (SDG#14), “clean water and sanitation” (SDG#6), and “good health and well-being” (SDG#3). Lastly, they were inspired to ponder on sustainable and responsible seafood consumption (SDG#12).
Other than experiencing the classics, students joining this trip could gain bonus marks in UGFH1000 or UGFN1000 by completing a post-trip questionnaire and writing a reflective essay. Some of the excellent writings can be found here.