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  • Teachers say “Education is incomplete without edu-action”: TERI and ITC Foods’ Sunfeast organize a training workshop for schoolteachers in Delhi

    2 August 2007

    As part of the 'Sunfeast Hara Banao' campaign - a movement spread across 10 cities in India - TERI and ITC Foods' Sunfeast organized a training workshop for schoolteachers in Delhi. The programme sought the participation of primary and senior teachers from the most renowned schools in Delhi The workshop held at The Sriram School, Vasant Vihar, was attended by 50 teachers from 23 schools.

    The 'Sunfeast Hara Banao' workshop began with a beautiful song by tiny tots of the school who presented their view of the environment, urging all to save trees for a greener earth. Ms Shalini Punjabi, Research Associate, Environment Education and Awareness group TERI, introduced the campaign and apprised the audience of the innovative work and massive outreach component of the programme in the field of environmental education and awareness. This was followed by a presentation by Ms Sreeja Nair, Research Associate, Centre for Global Environment Research TERI, on the phenomenon of climate change and associated impacts. She mentioned that uncertainty surrounding the scale of impact of climate change should not be a reason for inaction. The global problem needed concerted efforts at local, regional, and national levels. Ms Nair said that the 'Sunfeast Hara Banao' teacher-training workshop was apt for developing an environment-friendly mindset in children.

    The presentations were followed by a group activity. The teachers were divided into five thematic discussion groups, namely, electrical energy, transportation, waste management, biodiversity, and communicating concerns about the environment. Teacher-representatives from each group presented the key points that emerged from their discussion, in the context of environment and climate change.

    The teachers were of the view that there was a need for a more effective public transport system to reduce the reliance on inefficient fuel technologies and personalized transportation options. A neighbourhood-school system should be promoted so that students could walk or cycle to nearby schools. They were of the opinion that, with respect to transport sector, carpools and metro rail systems were the two most effective ways to deal with energy inefficiency. Renewable energy technologies should be made available at more affordable prices. Finally, proper paper management should be taught and taken seriously in all schools.

    Ms Punjabi took a detailed session for teachers on educational toolkits. The session comprised practical exercises, project work, fact-sheets, posters, and a film on global warming According to her, the toolkit would help build capacities of teachers through a number of innovative and interesting teaching aids, which in turn would equip students with the right knowledge and attitude to spearhead the movement against climate change. She also brought to light the unique challenges posed by the transport sector in India with respect to climate change and the steps taken by the Government of Delhi to reduce the impact of changing climate.

    The enthusiastic participation of the teachers in the workshop demonstrated that the 'Sunfeast Hara Banao' campaign had touched a crucial topic, that is, climate change. It also pointed to the fact that the issue required urgent attention, which could be garnered by launching a movement that triggered young minds.

    In a fitting conclusion to the workshop, Mrs Madhu Bhatnagar, a teacher-activist in the field of environment at Sriram School, noted: 'Education should be followed by edu-action'.

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