In a view to raise awareness among students about environment, National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the apex curriculum setter in India, has decided to make the subject of environment education markable in the school examinations. According to the guidelines, the judgment will now not be based on conventional ‘study text-books: write-examination' mode but on how active the examinee has been 'on the ground.'
According to Sunita Dasgupta, programme director, environment education unit, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), “The book is in response to this new and exciting development. In a scenario where every single mark is viewed as a stepping stone to a future career, there could not have been a more significant move. The age group that the book targets is from 12-16 years. The issues and related sets of activities in the book go beyond such boundaries. They are relevant to anyone who wants to 'do' something about the current state of affairs."
She is talking about the book: Climate Change and Natural Resources which is a book regarding activities of environmental education. The book is recently published by CSE and Dasgupta is the editor of this book. Before this move, environmental education has never been given such importance. It was just used as a common theme for extra-curricular activities. But now it is undergoing a fundamental change.
The teachers are not trained to treat the subject of environmental education as a ‘living’ and ‘breathing’ subject. Also, there were no text books or reference books available that fit easily in this mould. However, Dasgupta says, “But as always, teachers have risen stoutly to the occasion and come up with remarkable ideas to turn environment into a tangible, 'grade-able' entity. This book is an attempt to lend these teachers a helping hand."
The book features the eco-guru, Pandit Gobar Ganesh, as the storyteller and has two main sections, 'Climate Change: how to make sense of it all' and 'Natural Resources: how to share and care.' The curriculum introduced will engage students in practical activity.
Dasgupta, further continues, “Environmental issues have to be introduced to students in a fun-to-read mode. They have to know from the outset that these are linked directly with their everyday lives. Otherwise they would label the subject as 'boring text-book stuff' and set the book aside."