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Transitioning environment learning: GREEN Olympiad, from awareness to action!

One of the expectations from school education is to enhance fundamental knowledge base of the students. With the advent of Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), it is a valid expectation that the knowledge is linked with action that brings a change in our lifestyles so that we are able to create a world with minimal negative impacts on our resources. Participation in competition is a valid megatrend in today's scenario wherein testing your knowledge quotient helps us to establish a scale on our learning graph so that we can further improvise and build on this further.

"The benefits of education permeate all walks of life right from the moment of birth. If we are to eradicate poverty and hunger, improve health, protect our planet and build more inclusive, resilient and peaceful societies, then every individual must be empowered with access to quality lifelong learning, with special attention to opportunities for girls and women. The evidence is unequivocal: education saves lives and transforms lives, it is the bedrock of sustainability. This is why we must work together across all development areas to make it a universal right."

~ Irina Bokova, Former Director General, UNESCOThe genesis of GREEN Olympiad lies on a vision that knowledge on issues related to sustainable development will provide improved stewardship for our planet. One of the driving force of a holistic education provides for interdisciplinary knowledge, skills, and values necessary to achieve sustainable development. This is the area where GREEN Olympiad finds a place in school system. With a combination of direct environment knowledge and focus on improving understanding of contemporary issues the examination is an appropriate test to scale up environment quotient of students.

Children are mostly aware of pressing environment issues, which need to be addressed and related to their day-to-day activities. The information that they gain through participation in the Olympiad is translated into environment improvement activities at the school level.

The project now stretches across all the states and union territories in India, and in select countries abroad. The year 2018 saw participation of approximately 2, 00,000 students from over 2000 schools from across the country and abroad. Schools from cities, towns and districts from across the country participated in the contest. Over the last 2 decades, GREEN Olympiad has evolved and strengthened into an asset of immense potential. Children are the hope of the future and we are happy to see that this program is attaining great heights and we are able to reach out to even to the remotest parts of the country.

Project has a huge potential of social acceptance, as it is a direct investment made towards development of an education foundation through environment friendly approaches. This project has made a place for itself in the academic calendar of the schools. A model is being created through this project to bring in awareness about environment issues at the community level through the involvement of youth. This model will be capable of replication in other geographical areas. The ultimate goal is to create an 'Environment Conscious Informed National Network' that paves the way towards attaining Global agenda by 2030.

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