environment

West Bengal schools focus on practical aspect of environmental education

Jaismita Alexander
Jaismita Alexander
Posted on 02 Nov 2021
17:00 PM
Several schools in West Bengal have turned their campuses into green and plastic-free zones.

Several schools in West Bengal have turned their campuses into green and plastic-free zones. Shutterstock

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Summary
Schools are conducting virtual workshops and projects to keep students engaged in environment-friendly activities
Do and learn, the message from educators

As the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 26) in Glasgow brainstorms on ways to save the planet, schools in West Bengal are doing their bit by making students aware about the need to protect the environment.

Educationists and teachers of Kolkata schools agree that Environmental Education must focus on practical knowledge and implementation rather than conceptual learning. They strongly feel that students should not be limited to making posters or writing essays on Earth Day or Environment Day. Instead, they should try and implement the learning in their daily life to bring about a change.

Runa Chatterjee, headmistress of The Heritage School, explained how Environmental Education can be put to use. “Environmental Education today is a multidisciplinary subject. As a part 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 doing, not learning. This will increase analytical abilities and lead them to solve the problems,”

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The Heritage School, Kolkata, has taken up various projects for conservation of resources, sustainable development and other environment-friendly activities. Every class in the school has a plant named after a literary character that the students look after. Children also spend Circle Time around trees and plants on the campus. Students and teachers are encouraged to travel by school bus to save fuel. The school organises visits to villages to distribute solar lamps and plant trees. The school held tree plantation activities regularly on important days like World Environment Day. The pandemic has restricted these activities but the school hopes to continue once the situation is better.

(From left) Runa Chatterjee, Ravi Victor and Sujata Ghosh.

(From left) Runa Chatterjee, Ravi Victor and Sujata Ghosh. Respective schools

Bhavan’s Gangabux Kanoria Vidyamandir, too, believes in implementation of environmental education on campus to make students more aware. The school has a green club that carries out various activities throughout the year. Projects like e-waste management, recycling waste material, waste water management are part of the activity calendar.

“Students need to change their lifestyle and adopt environment-friendly habits. Apart from learning it as a subject, environmental education should be able to change you as a person. We encourage students to take part in all these activities and practise them at home too,” said Sujata Ghosh, the principal of Bhavan’s Gangabux Kanoria Vidyamandir.

Schools in other parts of West Bengal are also increasingly becoming aware of the significance of Environmental Education. St. Vincent High and Technical School, Asansol, has taken up various projects with a resolve to save the earth.

“We educate children about 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 waste material. Activities like these interest children more and they gain more practical knowledge. We have many environment-friendly activities throughout the year,” Ravi Victor, the principal of St Vincent High, said.

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

Last updated on 02 Nov 2021
17:00 PM
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