Sustainability is indeed the need of the hour. With climate change and other environmental factors worsening each day, sustainability needs to be made a part of the school and college curriculum as soon as possible. Here’s how it can be incorporated in education systems across the world.
- Training Teachers: School, college and even kindergarten faculties need to be trained thoroughly on sustainability before they begin guiding students for the same.
- Beginning Young: The younger we start the better we can teach. In some countries, they have begun as young as kindergarten to teach about sustainability; the top benefit of which is a deeper understanding and greater appreciation for the environment and sustainability.
- Developing Activity-Based Curriculum: Children learn the best from activity-based learning programs. By encouraging children to learn about sustainability by core activities such as waste segregation, gardening, composting, food waste management and energy conservation.
- Include more Field Trips and Laboratory Time: Children learn best when they observe and experience things around them in real time. Conventional bookish education pattern can only help to a limit. But when you help them learn using field trips, experimentation, discussion and debates, group activities and social projects/programs, children experience the lessons more closely and feel bonded with their environment.
- Encourage Independent & Peer-to-Peer Learning: While students/learners do require guidance from time to time, they should be encourages to infer and deduce their own findings and learn from each others’ findings, discuss aspects of their findings and verify these findings scientifically. This would also improve their scientific acumen and rational, logical thinking.
- Encourage Sustainable Innovations: Learners should be encouraged to find solutions to existing (and any likely future) problems by thinking outside the box. Innovative problem-solving can be encouraged by organizing workshops, brain-storming sessions, creative projects etc.
- Involve Families in Sustainability Education: Schools and colleges must reach out to parents via students to encourage sustainability at home. This will enhance the awareness about issues such as waste disposal, food waste, domestic carbon footprints, water wastage etc. Sustainability awareness can be spread from each student to each family and thus to each community.
- Involve Community Representatives & Sustainability Professionals: Schools and colleges must invite local representatives, environmentalists, sustainability experts and other people engaged in the similar field for encouraging the zest towards sustainability.
- Impart Credits for Sustainability Initiatives: Children and youngsters naturally have a healthy level of competitiveness. Small competitions and rewards can help them enhance their drive for sustainability.