Education for Sustainability to Present a Beautiful Life for Our Next Generation (a Report of Green Educator Course at Green School, Bali) C360_2015-04-16-14-50-42-325On April 14th – 19th of 2015, through APBIPA Bali partnership program three of us: Ms. Sistha and I) and an admin (Ms. Nina) of Pusat Bahasa STPBI received a scholarships from Yayasan Kul-Kul (which runs Green School) to join Green Educator Course. The course was conducted at Green School with the main theme “A Focus on Education for Sustainability” and was attended by educators from over 20 countries. This inspiring course has opened my mind on the importance of education for sustainability. On the first day, all participants were introduced to the key term of the course: “sustainability”. We had different points of view on this term but we eventually came to one definition: efforts to continue living. At this stage It was still a theory and to see it more clearly all participants were invited to join a tour around Green School. The Green School is the greenest school in the world located in a small forest surrounded by gardens and trees and the buildings are made from bamboo. The architecture of the buildings is stunning. mepantiganNot far from the school is the Ayung River running through the school. Connecting its two banks is a bamboo bridge built by the students of Green School. The school also had a shed where there were two cows to produce manure for the plants. It is around green principles that the school develops has been carefully designed. On the second day, we walked through rice fields near the school. We saw Subak (traditional Balinese irrigation system) and went through a tunnel while cleaning the environment around it from plastic rubbish. We enjoyed it so much since we did something useful for the environment. We saw many interesting objects in GS school on the second day of the course: traditional clay Balinese kitchen, honey bee hives, aquaphonic (a special garden where the plants grow on pebbles and get their water and nutrition from the fish pond underneath). We also had a chance to learn how the school managed their own water resources. These are the projects of GS students in order to implement sustainable living. aquaphonicAnother interesting activity was introduced by Kul-Kul farm. For 20 minutes participants were invited to plant around 400 “bloody butcher” and “sweet ambrosia” corn seeds. We were divided into six teams each with their own job. Those teams were: 1) Purpose-planting our main crops, 2) Beauty–planting flowers, 3) Support-planting edges, 4) Protection and Establishing Boundaries – putting up the fence, 5) Human Ingenuity- setting up the solar powered electric fence, 6) Planting for the future – coconut tree planting. I was in the Protection and Establishing Boundaries team whose job was to set fences around the garden. My team should make sure that all the plants were safe from animals such as chickens or birds. It was a fun idea in teaching students to live sustainably by involving them into a practical permaculture gardening activity as well as to give them valued experience for living. On the third day, the participants were invited to join classes in GS. I joined a social studies for middle school class. It was an interactive classroom. The teacher successfully involved the students to the lesson because they were very active and communicative. He gave brief explanation about the lesson, invited students to a fun yet analiyical game, and opened discussions among students. After joining that class, we went to the “heart of the school” (the main building of GS) to meet excellent students of GS who presented their projects. One of the projects implemented in Primary Classes was called “I-Respect” an acronym of Integrity, Responsibility, Empathy, Sustainability, Peace, Equality, Community, and Trust. This is the kind of attitude and behaviour standard that students should demonstrate and earn tokens from their teachers. Those tokens can be used to do many interesting activities organised by the school. Another project by the students was “Bye-Bye Plastic Bags” by a middle school student wishing to eradicate plastic rubbish in Bali. The fourth day of the course was full of presentations and discussions. We discussed the importance of involving the community in Education for Sustainability (EfS), “Root and Shoot” presentation, the entrepreneural learner, arts in EfS, and how to use technology in presenting EfS. Those were meaningful presentations and fruitful discussion. On the fifth day, which was the last day of the course, was a UN conference where all participants could present their ideas to other participants. It was then followed by the time for reflection and building our own vision of EfS. The participants had their own visions for themselves and their environment even for their country. Whatever our vision was, wherever we were from, we actually came to that place for one vision: to keep our Earth green and present a beautiful life for our next generation. The course was finally concluded with Mepantigan, a fun Balinese traditional wrestling in a mud pit. We laughed aloud although our bodies were dirty and fully covered with mud. It was not an ordinary dirt, it was a blessing from our mother Earth to help us achieve our visions.
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