Educators and principals call for environmental education reforms in schools ahead of COP26

The 26th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP26) hosted by the United Kingdom begins on Sunday (representative)

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New Delhi:

As countries prepare to participate in climate negotiations at United Nations conference in Glasgow, educators and school principals in India call for reforms to environmental education offered in schools across the country .

The 26th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP26) organized by the United Kingdom begins on Sunday. More than 190 countries are expected to attend the meeting, which will run until November 12.

Principals say that the current education offered on environmental issues in schools does not go beyond slogans and the creation of posters on particular days such as “Earth Day” or “Earth Day”. environment ”and called for a more practical approach to prepare students for the future.

Currently, CBSE students have to study a compulsory environmental subject for courses. School principals believe, however, that it is necessary to go beyond the “pen and paper” mode with regard to environmental education.

“The need of the hour is to educate students about threats and climate change. Environmental education should be much more than light workshops held on special days like Earth Day or Environment Day.” , Pallavi Upadhyaya, Director, DPS-RNE Ghaziabad Told PTI.

“As students are the future decision-makers, they must become responsible citizens to monitor their daily practices and commitments. Something as simple as saying ‘no’ to plastic, and carrying a paper or jute bag to shop for groceries can have a significant impact on our environment positively, ”Ms. Upadhyaya said.

According to Seema Kaur, principal of the Pacific World School, the slogans “Save the environment” and “Save the trees” resonate in most schools, but sometimes only for a day. “The hustle and bustle over saving the planet is audible everywhere, but in vain. Children are the creators of this planet. Therefore, from an early stage only, schools should include environmental awareness programs in the curriculum focused on practical knowledge, ”she said.

“For example, organic farming, waste management projects, the impact of greenhouse gases should be implemented regularly,” she added.

Anshu Mittal, director of the Rohini MRG school, said 21st century educators must teach young learners to engage and solve the environmental issues they face in their day-to-day lives, such as l saving water and electricity at home, using bicycles for short distances. travel, plant green trees and enable them to make the connection between their small gesture and complex global environmental problems.

“This can only be achieved through experiential learning. Seminars, workshops should be included in our teaching and learning by different environmentalists, NGOs imparting knowledge on rainwater harvesting, recycling paper, vertical gardening, recreation of objects using trash, ”she said.

Sangeeta Hajela, Director, DPS Indirapuram, believes that environmental education must be mainstreamed in Indian schools, in all sincerity and definitively, as environmental degradation is no longer a gradual transformation.

“The process of school education remains incomplete without setting an example for students, so there is a need to change the course of environmental awareness from being subjective to practical,” she said.

“Environmental awareness should not be a pen-and-paper education for a day or a week, but a way of life, practiced every day, leading to the formation of habits,” she added. .

According to Divya Jain, founder and director of The Class of One, an online-only school, the majority of environmental degradation results from a lack of education.

“We have integrated the SDG projects with the primary curriculum to educate children to grow up to lead sustainable and environmentally friendly lives. As India is a diverse country and every place here needs a type different solution, all of our projects are location – specific and help children better understand their location and find a solution. There is a compulsory environmental class in the curriculum from elementary school on. A monthly activity is planned with parents as accomplices, ”she said.

Shashi Banerjee, director of education at the Shiv Nadar school, said they advocate making children eco-friendly citizens who understand and take action to minimize the broad impacts of climate change.

“One of our core values ​​is responsibility and a sense of purpose, and our comprehensive environmental program permeates all aspects of learning, observing and thinking about our resource consumption to waste separation and tracking the carbon footprint of each event, ”said Banerjee. .

“Our students are actively involved in recycling and reuse of materials at school, and their projects promote environmentally sustainable solutions to existing problems,” Banerjee said.

Alka Kapur, headmistress of the modern Shalimar Bagh public school suggests that environmental issues should be addressed in a curriculum vision and should be indicated in the school’s policy and action plan while the physical environment of the school should be decorated to be a learning resource. .

Neeraj Mohan Puri, principal of Satyug Darshan Vidyala, said students should be encouraged to implement the four Rs of conservation: reduce, reuse, repair and recycle at school and at home.

“Schools can also appoint green ambassadors from among students to lead the charge of the ‘green army’. Schools can introduce a green assessment parameter in the annual progress sheet, on which the children would be graded, ”he said.

(This story was not edited by Careers 360 staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)