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Www.greenitiative.ro Opportunities, challenges and barriers for extracurricular climate change and energy education in Romanian schools Comenius Project.

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Presentation on theme: "Www.greenitiative.ro Opportunities, challenges and barriers for extracurricular climate change and energy education in Romanian schools Comenius Project."— Presentation transcript:

1 Opportunities, challenges and barriers for extracurricular climate change and energy education in Romanian schools Comenius Project “Changing with the Climate” Bucharest, February 22nd 2012

2 Greenitiative in a nutshell Eco education for children and youth Sustainable development of our communities Green building and promotion of clean energy Impact Education for youth Changes in the community Changes at personal level

3 Greenitiative in a nutshell Eco education for children and youth Sustainable development of our communities Green building and promotion of clean energy

4 Why we started all this? © Wallace Broecker, California Academy of Sciences Museum

5 Our projects The Age of Clean Energy Campaign” (project included in the Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign of the European Commission) “Be Green! Be Selective with Your Waste!”, “Separate Waste Collection at International British School of Bucharest” and “Eco leadership for Nicolae Iorga College”, pilot projects offering support for schools interested in implementing separate collection of waste systems “Terra Our Only Home”, climate change and energy sustainability awareness programme developed with Bucharest School Inspectorate and UN Information Center in 15 schools from Bucharest “Eselnita on the Map of Sustainable Development”, a SD programme for rural communities and local stakeholders “A Green Day in Mogoşoaia”, a series of workshops and events focusing on promoting green building and green living in Romania

6 “Terra, Our Only Home” Educational project originally inspired by Al Gore’s activity as a climate change campaigner Grass-root activities in schools for creating awareness and behaviour change on climate issues Involving the local authorities in order to make significant changes in schools

7 Results Creating a platform of communication between Greenitiative 15 schools (Terra coordinators yahoogroup) Developing an educational kit on the topic of sustainability and climate change, adapted for 3 age groups Direct involvement of students and 200+ teachers Students and teachers have identified energy efficiency measures specific to each school 7 schools have already implemented at least one energy efficiency or sustainability measure One school won an international prize with a project based on implementing sustainability measures Dissemination of project message to other schools in Romania A framework of cooperation between the public sector, the private sector and the non-profit sector

8 Participants School Inspectorate Bucharest and 15 schools, high schools and vocational schools from Bucharest: Şcoala Europeană, Şcoala nr. 179, Colegiul Naţional „Ion Neculce”, Colegiul National „Spiru Haret”, Liceul Teoretic „C.A. Rosetti”, Colegiul Tehnic „Traian”, Colegiul National „George Coşbuc” Colegiul Naţional „Matei Basarab”, Şcoala nr. 75 „Leonardo da Vinci, Colegiul Naţional „Gheorghe Şincai”, Colegiul Naţional „Ion Creangă”, Colegiul Naţional „Gheorghe Lazăr”, Colegiul Economic Viilor, Colegiul National „Elena Cuza”, Şcoala nr. 279

9 How we pledged to support Changing with the Climate Network Informing the schools/classes how to implement specific projects related to reducing their carbon footprint Teaming with ICI to organize an event during the project at our headquarters near Bucharest where the students and their teachers could see energy efficiency measures and renewables at work in two green buildings, a home and an office Promoting the project within a network of teachers we created in the last 3-4 years of activity

10 Opportunities for climate change and energy education in Romanian schools (1) The educational system is open to working with NGOs in extracurricular projects Many schools and teachers take part in European projects (Eco Schools, European Schools for a Living Planet, Comenius, Intelligent Energy Europe, Grundtvig,etc.) and become more interested in climate change education Because the curricular education on these topics is very rare, there is a strong interest of teachers and students to explore the domains Collaboration with the school authorities especially at the local level is fairly easy to achieve as an NGO

11 Opportunities for climate change and energy education in Romanian schools (2) Schools generally have electronic equipment and logistics to organize movie screenings and multimedia presentations Students are very interested in nonformal education as it is perceived as more interesting and down-to- earth than formal education (visits, hands-on activities, peer-to- peer education, etc.) Teachers value projects that are interdisciplinary and offer the possibility of knowledge exchange among teachers specialized in different domains Communication with teachers works very well because of internet access and

12 Using these opportunities Education focusing on reducing the carbon footprint Şcoala 56 – Vizită la ExpoRenewEnergy

13 Nonformal education –visiting a recycling facility Students from Traian College visiting GreenWEEE Recycling Facility in Buzau Using these opportunities

14 Nonformal education – staging a play on sustainable development issues Lord of the Garbage play at Traian Technical College Bucharest, written, directed and performed by the students

15 Using these opportunities Visiting a renewable energy fair in Bucharest with students and teachers from School No. 56 “Jose Marti”, Bucharest Students from Traian College Bucharest

16 Using these opportunities Students from the European School spending a Green Day in Mogosoaia, together with their parents and teacher

17 Using these opportunities Involving the young in civic action – Earth Hour celebration 2009 Students from Traian College Bucharest

18 Challenges for climate change and energy education in Romanian schools (1) Because many extracurricular projects request a minimum of involvement, sometimes teachers and students receive with skepticism a complex and long project that requires a lot of involvement Especially in the case of projects that involve many schools, it is quite difficult to avoid overlapping the activities of a project with major events of the school year (tests, national exams, contests, etc.) Frequent changes of school management (quite often in line with shifts in the political power) creates a discontinuity in the support required from the school management for the success of a project

19 Challenges for climate change and energy education in Romanian schools (2) Teachers and students share the perception that there are already too many hours that they need to spend in school - the schools program is overloaded - and they are sometimes reluctant devote extra hours to a project Government decided in 2010 to cut 25 % off the wages of all the state employees, lowering thus also the enthusiasm of teachers to get involved in in extracurricular projects

20 Challenges for organizing a project: convincing the teachers to offer their extra time for various activities Training and organizing team coordinators Terra Our Only Home Project, 2009, UN House

21 Time challenges Organizing a screening of documentary Home UN Information Center on a Saturday morning

22 Engaging the youth in international events related to climate change Event organized by NGOs in Bucharest to support a deal at COP15. Greenitiative managed to mobilize students from Bucharest schools (on a freezing Saturday night in December!)

23 15 Schools for COP15 exhibition at the UN House in Bucharest

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27 Engaging the youth in implementing a project School coordinators School teams Teachers and students in each school

28 Barriers for climate change and energy education in Romanian schools (1) Local government officials - who finance school renovations and refurbishment - are not interested yet in the concept of making schools showcases of energy sustainability Even if a school renovation is a painful process in which sometimes it loses a lot of the students to other neighbouring schools, school management is totally ignored by LG officials when taking decisions and thus the renovation doesn’t consider any necessities identified by the beneficiaries of that building while using it over the years

29 Barriers for climate change and energy education in Romanian schools (2) Though teachers and students in schools sometimes know much more about energy sustainability and climate change than the members of the local city council, schools and NGOs attempts to communicate on these issues are not welcome The absence of governmental policies related to tackling climate change has dramatic consequences on the decisions related to investments in schools. A lot of money is simply wasted in low-quality renovations that have little to do with energy efficiency and proper indoor air quality. In this situation, it is very difficult to convince young people and teachers to change habits and reduce energy consumption on their own.

30 Barriers for climate change and energy education in Romanian schools (3) Despite the fact that schools welcome and sometimes ask for projects related to waste management and resource efficiency, the Environmental Fund money do not support such projects. There is a huge shortage for financing such projects in Romania. All these combined with a lot of greenwashing from companies that mistake CSR with marketing, create a deep skepticism that major changes related to sustainability are really going to happen. I was asked many times in schools why are we losing precious time at the grassroots instead of using the resources for changing policies and business people’s ideas, that politicians should change their attitude first …

31 Barriers for climate change and energy education in Romanian schools (4) Though the educational system is open to working with NGOs in climate change and energy projects, it does not apply for structural funds in order to finance multi- annual and national projects like this, though it is much more easy for them to receive financing. The teacher training in universities is sometimes informed by climate change skepticism (Geography School, Bucharest University, even the Ecological University). It is more difficult to work with a teacher on a climate change project when that teacher already received during his/her BA, MA or PhD studies a lot of education that disputed the truth about climate change science.

32 Jumping over barriers Ambassadors support our efforts. What about local politicians?

33 Overcoming barriers -Energy Day/EUSEW

34 Communicating with politicians and business people on sustainability On-site training for each of the 15 school teams, Feb. and March 2010

35 Do they really know what we want? Involving the young in civic action Students petitioning local government to make sustainable investments in schools

36 Nonformal education for engaging the youth Sustainable development education for Eselnita community Eselnita Parish Summer School

37 A very optimistic view of a more sustainable future Teachers and students NGOs Local government

38 Living the change we advocate for

39 39 Thank you for your patience! Greenitiative Association Facebook: Felicia Ienculescu Facebook: Terra Singura Noastra Casa Flickr: Greenitiative


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