West Bengal schools focus on the practical aspect of environmental education

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Summary

Schools run workshops and virtual projects to keep students engaged in environmentally friendly activities

Do and learn, the message of educators

As the 26th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP 26) in Glasgow reflects on ways to save the planet, schools in West Bengal are doing their part by educating students about the need to protect the environment.

Educators and teachers in Kolkata schools agree that environmental education should focus on practical knowledge and implementation rather than conceptual learning. They believe students shouldn’t be limited to creating posters or writing essays on Earth Day or the environment. Instead, they should try to implement the learning into their daily lives to effect change.

Runa Chatterjee, Principal of The Heritage School, explained how environmental education can be harnessed. “Environmental education is today a multidisciplinary subject. In the context of the environmental campaign, the main approach should be practical and application-based. All activities should be based on the immediate environment in which the students live. The emphasis should be on observation and exploration, the teaching methodology should be action and not learning. This will increase analytical skills and lead them to problem-solve ”,

The Heritage School, Kolkata, has undertaken various projects for resource conservation, sustainable development and other environmentally friendly activities. Each class in the school has a plant named after a literary figure that the students care for. Children also spend time in a circle around trees and plants on campus. Students and teachers are encouraged to travel by school bus to save fuel. The school organizes visits to villages to distribute solar lights and plant trees. The school regularly organized tree planting activities on important days like World Environment Day. The pandemic has restricted these activities but the school hopes to continue once the situation improves.

(Left to right) Runa Chatterjee, Ravi Victor and Sujata Ghosh. Source: Respective schools

Gangabux Kanoria Vidyamandir from Bhavan also believes in implementing environmental education on campus to educate students. The school has a green club which organizes various activities throughout the year. Projects such as electronic waste management, waste recycling, wastewater management are part of the schedule of activities.

“Students need to change their lifestyle and adopt environmentally friendly habits. In addition to learning it as a subject, environmental education should be able to change you as a person. We encourage students to participate in all of these activities and also to practice them at home, ”said Sujata Ghosh, director of Gangabux Kanoria Vidyamandir in Bhavan.

Schools in other parts of West Bengal are also increasingly recognizing the importance of environmental education. The Saint-Vincent d’Asansol secondary and technical school has undertaken various projects with the desire to save the earth.

“We educate children on the 5 Rs of conservation and encourage them to reuse and recycle more often. We have had projects where students have made useful things out of garbage. Activities like these appeal to children more and they acquire more practical knowledge. We organize many eco-friendly activities throughout the year, ”said Ravi Victor, Director of St Vincent High.

The pandemic has affected regular activities on campus, but schools have tried to keep students active through online sessions and workshops on topics related to climate change, pollution and the environment.

Last updated on Nov 02, 2021


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