Green inception

by - January 1st, 2015

The recently-established TERI Prakriti School is founded on values, reverence for nature and a focus on sustainable development.

Schools of the future are those that seek to provide quality education in an enabling environment to give back to the community and the nation conscientious individuals, who will redefine the growth of humans by co existing with nature. It is with this endeavor that the TERI Prakriti School was recently established. To groom students to become ambassadors of sustainable living practices and masters of 21st century skills.

"Protection of the environment and respect for nature is entirely a matter of values and knowledge based on the role of human beings in the larger creation around us. Imbibing these values and knowledge has to begin early in life and must be an integral part of all the subjects that we learn in school. It is for this reason that The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has established this novel institution, where school children will be motivated to excel in all the subjects taught as part of the CBSE and other curricula, but with a strong foundation that inculcates reverence for nature and a focus on sustainable development," said Dr R K Pachauri, Director General, TERI.

The TERI Prakriti School will be a global school which will focus on sustainable learning and living practices. The school is TERI's maiden initiative to promote scientific education and help children imbibe sustainable values and living practices at a time when sustainable development has become the need of the hour. Located on the Delhi/Gurgaon border, the school is built around 100 acres of beautifully landscaped area, with sporting facilities that include two cricket fields and golf fields and other sports facilities. To inculcate sustainable practices, cycling is promoted within the school campus.

The school and the teachers will sensitize students on issues such as climate change, reducing carbon footprint, proper and effective utilization of natural resources, use of renewable energy and make them responsible citizens in managing wastes from a very young age. The school is headed by veteran educationist Mrs Lata Vaidyanathan, former principal of Modern School, New Delhi, who has been instrumental in spearheading burden-free and green education.

Says Mrs Vaidyanathan, Director, TERI Prakriti School: "The world is changing at an unprecedented rate. Climate change and its impact on all ecosystems is a definite threat to the survival of the human race. It is time to arrest the negative impact. Present day schools need to give a definite bias to sustainability issues in its curriculum. These changes can be brought in, only if there is a change of 'climate' within us."

TERI Prakriti School will be a K-12 school affiliated to CBSE, with its curricula focusing on issues of sustainable development and environment conservation across the world. The session will begin from April 2015. The school is based on core beliefs, which include knowledge for sustainable living, inculcating universal values, community outreach and leadership in action. The uniqueness of the school will be integrating sustainable practices in the curriculum.

At the inauguration of the school, Mr Prakash Javadekar, Hon'ble Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, said: "The building of any institute is not important, but how you build it is important. Nature is our best teacher and teaches us very beautifully. Our civilization and lifestyle are very pro-environment... Sustainable practices are the need of 21st Century. I am glad that TERI Prakriti School will focus on life skills, knowledge, spirituality and ethos - all these values should come from within and are important for all individuals."

Capt. Abhimanyu, Hon'ble Minister for Finance, Forest and Environment, Government of Haryana, said: "I can visualize the future in the field of academics as the name signifies Prakriti. The school will endeavor in the field of knowledge and sustainability. This is a school with universal values."

At all levels, school programmes will focus on development, experiential learning and incorporating beliefs, which are integral to our country. The school will also adopt best international practices. As Gandhiji said, "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever".

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