Sustainable development to be taught in schools in India

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PUNE: As environment studies becomes a part and parcel of school curriculum across the country, the ministry of environment and forests is set to introduce ‘Education for Sustainable Development’ (ESD) as a course in the formal education system in the country. The ESD is a process that addresses economic, social and environmental issues, which will bring a change in the current environmental programmes from environmental education to education for sustainable development.

The ministry plans to introduce education for sustainable development in the National Green Corps programme (NGC), which was launched by the ministry in all districts in the country.

Brij Mohan Singh Rathore, joint secretary, ministry of environment and forests, told: “One lakh schools in the country are part of the NGC programme, where we want to introduce sustainable development through various projects and programmes.”

Rathore was in the city recently to attend an international seminar on ‘Education for sustainable development as modern education’ at the Bharati Vidyapeeth.

An expert group from four countries (India, Mexico, South Africa and Germany, who participated in the seminar) has been formed to guide and coordinate the training programme on education for sustainability training for trainers in these countries, which is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany. Already, the process for imparting training on education for sustainability to school teachers, principals and non-governmental organisations has started.

Academicians and experts from the Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environment Education and Research, the Energy and Resources Institute, the Centre for Environment Education and the National Council of Educational Research and Training have come together to design training module of education for sustainable development.

Erach Bharucha, director, Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environment Education and Research (BVIEER) told TOI, “The difference of education for sustainable development over environmental education is that apart from environment knowledge, it looks into changes in quality of life to make it sustainable. Education for sustainable development seeks to engage people in negotiating a sustainable future, making decisions and acting on them. It looks into economic, governance and social issues.”

(Times of India)

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