Mumbai: Tata Steel, who launched an initiative “Green School Project” in association with TERI to create awareness about environmental issues in school campuses in the operational areas of the company, has reached out to more than 7,300 students and teachers in the past eight months.
Climate education and awareness is a critical instrument in the global strategy to address the environmental impacts of climate change.
To address the challenges posed by the pandemic in reaching out to the school community, Tata Steel leveraged the digital platforms like web platforms, mobile applications, and social media to continue this outreach programme and connect with the green crusaders. The online initiatives involved virtual seminars and hands-on training workshops, digital competitions, self-learning series in the form of audio-video learning capsules, and more.
‘The Green School Project’, a joint initiative of Tata Steel and TERI, involves the school fraternity to bring about a change using climate literacy as an effective tool. It promotes environmental stewardship to enhance critical and interdisciplinary thinking through formal and informal modes of teaching. The project is being implemented in various schools at the grassroots level in the operational areas of Tata Steel in Jharkhand and Odisha and has touched the lives of more than 1.5 lakhs students, teachers and community members since its inception.
Pankaj Satija, Chief Regulatory Affairs, Tata Steel, said: “People form the core of bringing about transformative change needed to create an equitable and green future for coming generations. A sustainable ecosystem requires all sections of the society including community, corporates, NGOs, government, and especially students, to come together to #ActforNatureand work towards a sustainable tomorrow by following a holistic approach.”
Students and teachers took up homebound ‘Community Impact Projects’ like making paper bags, wealth out of waste, installing bird nests and bird feeders, etc. to bring about the change in the society. 20 project schools across Noamundi, Joda, Jajpur, Jharia and West Bokaro and 6 project schools of Angul along with 36 schools across 6 panchayats implemented these community impact projects.
Pradeepta Kumar Das, a Teacher at Tata DAV Public School in Noamundi, said: “I feel extremely glad to share my experience of the online activities. Undoubtedly the way TERI is conducting the activities with students and teachers in the pandemic situation is quite praiseworthy. The students are extremely happy and enthusiastic to take part in this programme. They are taking part in the project with heart and soul. I am thankful to Tata Steel and TERI for such an innovative way to involve the students and teachers in this programme. Being a part of this project, I feel proud and happy. This will be very helpful to the students, teachers and the environment.”
The ‘Green pedagogy’, designed under the Green School project, operates with an objective to develop systemic thinking, participatory learning, and creative thinking for face future scenarios.
The Green School Project was launched in April 2017 with select schools with an overarching goal of creating amongst students, awareness on climate change and the ways in which a sustainable lifestyle can help mitigate the adverse impact of climate change.
This is achieved by promoting environmental stewardship through both classroom and outdoor activities like teachers training workshops on digital pedagogy, development of green curricula, community impact projects, outdoor educational activities, development of Information Education and Communication (IEC) resources for joyful learning activities. In September 2019, Phase-III of the project was launched to expand to more schools.