For far too long, our progress as a civilisation has remained unmindful of the world around us.
We have developed our cities, industries, and road networks and mined for resources without care for the impact on the planet we inhabit. The result is the undulating march of climate change and impending ecological disasters that we can no longer ignore. As the world we know comes to a standstill, many around the world are taking this time to reflect on how we ended up here and how we can equip our children to deal with the unknown.
But many are also realising that traditional models of education are inadequate in preparing the future generation to meet the challenges of today. Too often, schools remain narrowly focused on textbook knowledge and instill an individualistic concept of success, unmindful of the natural and social world. Now, more than ever, our world needs curious, creative, and innovative young leaders to lead us out of crises we face.
For over a decade, Green School has been equipping students with the skills and values they need to navigate this ever-changing world, and helping them become green leaders and change-makers. At Green School, education goes far beyond books as they look to bring the world into the classroom and the classroom into the world. The Green School learning journey starts from the nature-immersed bamboo campus on the banks of the Ayung River. The classrooms have no walls so students learn surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature. Students are encouraged to explore their surroundings and form an empathetic relationship with the environment they live in.
This compassion for the environment is nurtured at an early age for students of Green School because of their focus on sustainability and care for the environment. It all starts with a sustainable campus – made from locally sourced bamboo – which runs on about 85 percent renewable energy. Students are involved in renewable energy projects and are innovating to create new, sustainable ways of generating electricity.
The classrooms are surrounded by permaculture gardens, where students learn first-hand about growing their own food sustainably. The school’s waste management system collects and recycles 1.2 tonnes of trash each month. The Bio Bus, another student-led project, is Green School’s very own transportation system with seven buses running 100 percent on biodiesel made from used cooking oil. Students collect used cooking oil from restaurants around Bali to turn it into biofuel. The only school in Indonesia with its own B100 biofuel station, Green School Bali’s Bio Bus is able to reduce CO2 emissions by eight tonnes each month.
With its aim of nurturing a generation of environmentally conscious young leaders, students at Green School learn about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and their individual and collective responsibility towards the planet. The curriculum focuses on building skills, values and knowledge and an understanding of environmental issues and building empathy for the planet and its inhabitants. Instead of testing and grading, students from primary through to high school work towards solving real-world problems in a project-based setting.
But all this is just the beginning of Green School’s journey. With the freedom to explore and innovate, the community at Green School strives each day to come up with solutions to the planet’s more pressing issues. Last year, at the World Economic Forum, Green School was termed the School of Future, a school which is preparing the next generation to meet the challenges of tomorrow. But the COVID-19 pandemic shows us that the future is here already. Now more than ever, our world needs creative thinkers and problem solvers who help make our planet sustainable. The future suddenly seems too far away, the world needs action today.