Tata Steel’s The Green School Project at the World Sustainable Development Summit 2020

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New Delhi, February 1, 2020: Taking forward its baton of the environmental initiative, Tata Steel showcased the learnings and outcomes of ‘The Green School’ project from Jharkhand and Odisha during the inaugural session of the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) 2020, held in New Delhi. The Summit is the annual flagship event of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

Started in 2001, the Summit has become a focal point for leaders and stakeholders from across the world to bridge thoughts and actions for sustainable development. The theme for this year’s summit was “Towards 2030 Goals: Making the Decade Count”. The Hon’ble Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India, Prakash Javadekar, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.

The thematic track ‘Educate, Inspire and Empower: Teachers for a Greener Tomorrow’ was organised at WSDS 2020 on the first day of the Summit. It provided a platform to the teachers, involved in the Green School project, from remote locations of Jharkhand and Odisha to showcase their learnings and collaborate with other stakeholders from different states. Such initiatives aim at strengthening their learning process and generate a positive ripple effect in the community.

The thematic track was dedicated to discussions and deliberations on green curriculum and sustainable learning, case studies for transferring local learning, using innovative and transformative ideas to solve problems within communities and barriers in integrating sustainability education into schools, etc. The Green School project recognises teachers as the torchbearers of change and focuses on their continuous professional development.

Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel, said: “We believe children and teachers of the current and future generations are key stakeholders in our journey towards a sustainable tomorrow. The Green School Project intends to involve and integrate school children and teachers into the larger national and global conversations around sustainable living. I am happy to note the efforts of @GreenSchool project towards enhancing the capabilities of both students and teachers and make them step outside their usual way of thinking, behaving and living by undertaking transformative actions at the local community level. The Green Curriculum that was presented at WSDS 2020 is a novel and much-anticipated move in this direction.”

To impart experiential learning to the teachers, a three-day intensive programme consisting of hands-on activities and interaction with experts was organised for building the capacity of the teachers on ‘Waste Management and Biodiversity’. Activities like a field trip to TERI gram to learn about vermicomposting, herbal and medicinal plants, wastewater treatment, energy-efficient building, practical activities to segregate waste and waste treatment at the institutional level, bird watching, and birds nest making were organised.

Teachers from West Bokaro, Jharia, Joda, Noamundi, Jajpur and Angul participated in the workshop. It has motivated the teachers in developing students’ personal and social well-being and inspire them to undertake meaningful involvement in their local, social, economic, and ecological communities.

The Green Pedagogy designed under the Green School project operates with an objective to develop systemic thinking, participatory learning, and creative thinking for face future scenarios.

The Green School project, a joint initiative of Tata Steel and TERI, promotes environmental stewardship to enhance critical and interdisciplinary thinking through formal and informal modes of teaching. This project is being implemented in 34 schools across the operational areas of Tata Steel in Jharkhand and Odisha.

The Green School project was launched in April 2017 with select schools with an overarching goal of creating amongst students, awareness on climate change and the ways in which a sustainable lifestyle can help mitigate the adverse impact of climate change. This is achieved by promoting environmental stewardship through both classroom and outdoor activities like teachers training workshops on digital pedagogy, development of green curricula, community impact projects, outdoor educational activities, development of Information Education and Communication (IEC) resources for joyful learning activities.

In September 2019, phase-III of the project was launched to expand to 34 schools to reach out to over 9,000 students, 450 teachers, and around 5,00,000 community members.