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Delhi's Directorate Of Education mandates training for teachers and students regarding air pollution solutions

Delhi's Directorate Of Education mandates training for teachers and students regarding air pollution solutions

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 01 Nov 2019, 07:51 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: Following an announcement by the Delhi Government Directorate of Education (DoE), mandating information sessions for Delhi students and teachers regarding air pollution solutions, My Right to Breathe (MRTB) and Help Delhi Breathe  organized a series of trainings as part of the Champions for Climate Action School program.

This program aims to increase awareness about air pollution, as the threat to public health in Delhi increases due to air pollution.

It is more important than ever to ensure that students understand the sources and solutions of poor air quality.

The DoE has given MRTB and Help Delhi Breathe a written mandate to hold information sessions on air pollution: the fundamental causes of air pollution, the sources, how to monitor air quality, the health impacts of air pollution, and finally the solutions for clean air.

Help Delhi Breathe and My Right to Breathe are both community-led coalitions that advocate for clean air policies and action, and for the right to clean air for all citizens. 

The mandates have been given to 27 government schools in Delhi: six ‘schools of excellence’ identified by the Delhi government, and 21 Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya (RPVV) schools.

As part of the programme, teachers were trained on how to incorporate these themes into the curriculum for senior school students based on the subjects they teach, and on the kinds of activities they may carry out in class.

One of the attendees, Manish Sharma, Teacher Trainee said, “It was a highly beneficial training session by My Right to Breathe and Help Delhi Breathe, this is a solid stepping stone towards creating future youth ambassadors for climate change.”

While schools have carried out individual activities and workshops on air pollution in the past, this is the first large-scale initiative to include the subject in government school curriculums.

Dr Amrita Behl, an educationist who works with My Right to Breathe, said, “How do you create a mindset of 'EnvironMentality' in students, some of who are going to be future decision makers and lead the nation? Our teacher trainings focus on engaging teachers, be it a math, social studies, science, or a language teacher, to incorporate key environmental concepts into their subject thus enabling each student to think of environment as a whole and not in a subject silo.”

Another attendee, Shikha, said, “This workshop has made such an impact on my mindset on how to curb pollution and find a solution for it; every change starts from self. I will start with myself, my home, and my workplace to increase green cover to curb pollution.”

My Right to Breathe and Help Delhi Breathe have collaborated with a number of experts for these training sessions: air quality monitoring companies like Kaiterra and Ambee, environmental expert organizations like Chintan who focus on responsible waste systems, and health practitioners and educationists around Delhi.

“Schools are the ecosystems where children learn the basis of their knowledge; we are shaping future artists, politicians, researchers and civil servants of India,'' says Kritica Mahajan, Campaigner at Purpose.

“It is important to protect them from the hazards of air pollution, and to equip them with knowledge to counteract it. My experience with these children has shown that they are intelligent and creative; all we need to do is focus their energy and creativity towards these issues, and I believe they will come up with newer and more innovative solutions themselves,” said Mahajan.

At the first teacher training, representatives from 27 schools attended the session at Bloom Public School.

This was followed by an information session with 300 senior school students, and was held at the Kalkaji School for Excellence.

Further student and teacher sessions have been planned, with the goal of holding peer-led trainings in the future.

These sessions will address common myths and misconceptions about air pollution, including the helplessness many people feel about air pollution in Delhi.

Trainee Kamlesh Gupta said, “We should not only inform our students about their right to breathe clean air, but also must teach them about their duties to find solutions at an individual level.”


Delhi's Directorate Of Education mandates training for teachers and students regarding air pollution solutions

India Blooms News Service
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