Press Releases

  • TERI organises 2nd National Educators' Conference to discuss the 'Road to a Sustainable School'

    5 November 2009

    As the world gears up for the Copenhagen summit, a lot is talked about the issue relating to sustainable development to reverse the trend of climate change. Thus, schools play a major role in nurturing right behaviours in students and equip them to become sensitive towards the environment. Thus, it is important to build capacities of the teachers for accurate dissemination of knowledge. With this intention, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) organised its second 3-day School Environment Educators Conference with 300 teachers from schools coming from all over the country. Themed around "Road to a Sustainable School", the conference discussed several issues around sustainable development like green buildings, green campus, managing and conserving water, managing solid waste, school carbon foot-printing, cleaner transports, etc.

    Present on the valedictory function of the conference were Mr Kapil Sibal, Hon'ble Minister of Human Resource Development (MHRD Dr R K Pachauri, Director-General, TERI and Chairman IPCC and Ms Ranjana Saikia, Associate Director, TERI.

    Addressing the gathering, Mr Kapil Sibal said, "When I look at the mother earth, I am reminded of a bank account. We keep drawing the capital from the account in the form of natural resources without replenishing it. As a consequence, our sustenance is under threat. We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking with which we have created these. We need to change the mindset and I am delighted to see that this conference has empowered those who nurture the thinking of the future. Its time for us to stop giving answers to the child and allow them to find answers themselves that will help in the formation of a new way of thinking. Our education is based on nature but its not attuned to the dynamics of it. Thus, the child needs to go out side the four walls of the school to understand it in its true sense and discover it. The solution to our problems won't come from politicians but from the students, through you- the teachers."

    Concluding Mr Sibal said, "This conference should be a larger movement of educators where solutions to the grave dangers of climate change could be given. Environment issues should be an integral part of our school curriculum and practicing environment education in a sustainable way is the need of the hour."

    This conference - a first of its kind, brought together stakeholders from school environs, ranging discussions on the environmental aspects of the processes linked with education. Around 300 teachers attended the event and provided an interactive platform for Indian entrepreneurs to come discuss the adoption of possible, economically viable, and innovative solutions to the challenge of 'ESD' (Education for Sustainable Development).

    The main objectives of the conference were:

    • To provide an interactive platform to the stakeholders in education to discuss the successful pathways for turning their schools green
    • To seek participation of members of the government, academia, and policy makers
    • To encourage the media- the fourth pillar of democracy- to disseminate information
    • To present replicable case studies from participants involved in Education for Sustainable Development
    • To find a comprehensive solution to the adverse impacts of unsustainable lifestyle choices on the environment, with appropriate use of available resources and technology.

    The resource panels in the event were represented by corporates, educators, policy makers, academia, and the media.

    Emphasising on the need to build such bridges of learning, Dr R K Pachauri said, "It would be wonderful if teachers go beyond the regular pedagogy and actively involve in developing the school as a sustainable habitat. The students are most vulnerable as climate change will affect them in their future. Climate change is only a symptom of a much larger problem -- unsustainability. If teachers are empowered then clearly there would be a major multiplier effect in our society. We need to change the way we live, the way we develop our technologies, etc to move towards the path of sustainability."

    The first of the Educators' Conference organised by TERI in 2008 addressed key issues related to environment -- with a focus on Climate Change -- to enable teachers to play a more proactive role. The drive was an essential process of enhancing environment education knowledge followed by positive action. The event had successfully addressed concerns of the teaching community on environment education with a special focus on the issue of climate change. The sessions revolved around formal and non- formal approaches. The residential event also helped in establishing networks within the teaching fraternity. The conference threw light on critical issues of concern and possible interventions at the teacher's level which can be applicable in the classroom.

    TERI recognised as RCE (Regional Centre of Expertise) by the UNU (United Nations University) is at the helm of affairs in environment education and awareness. Several of its projects and activities help in enriching the school curriculum to encompass real-world skills to make our students productive and useful members of professional workforce. It also sensitizes children from an early age on environment issues.