Schools throughout the world are making efforts to be greener in both their environment and their actions.
But none can beat Green School in Indonesia, which opened in September 2008. Green inside and out, it is considered the world’s first truly green school. Located in Sibang Kaja in central Bali, this school is made from Balinese bamboo and features local alang-alang grass roofs and traditional mud floors. Even the furniture and furnishings are made from the local bamboo.
Green School’s energy and electricity are generated by solar panels, biogas (from cow manure) and hydropower. Living fences border the 8-hectare campus that is also a productive organic farm. The roads around the campus are made of volcanic rock and the footpaths combine gravel with a pumice rock border that allows grass to grow within.
It’s a school with no walls. Children are able to do their reading and writing under natural light and fresh air breezes. They even get to help tend the gardens under the guidance of a permaculturalist.
Serving more that 100 children from kindergarten through eighth grade, the Green School’s curriculum is aimed at encouraging not only a child’s love of learning and spirit of inquiry but a better understanding of the environment. Traditional subjects such as reading, writing, and arithmetic are taught alongside subjects such as rice field ecology. Students also learn how to make abstract ideas become real at the school’s Learning Village where they participate in various entrepreneurial and agricultural projects ranging from the manufacture of chocolate to helping manage organic fields and bamboo plantations.
The brainchild of John and Cynthia Hardy, expat Canadian jewellers who have lived in Bali for the past thirty years, the goal of Green School is to prepare students to thrive in the challenging, complex 21st-century world by “…connecting learning with creativity; environmental responsibility with scientific knowledge; respect for the self with respect for a wide variety of cultures.”
Sounds like something all schools should be aiming toward.