Parallel Education System – Eco-schools and Eco-universities
The Government at all educational levels has made environmental education compulsory. However, the stuff dished out in the text books on environmental education deals mainly with certain concepts like the eco-system and how to control pollution and waste. Natural resources, ecological variations in different regions and how life has evolved adaptations to these, etc. are only marginally discussed.
Eco-school is essentially an interdisciplinary system of education. The traditional division of knowledge into different subjects – each a complete discipline in itself- is not adhered to. Life on this planet is treated as a whole & efforts are made to understand how organisms live in their environment, how human beings in different parts of the world have evolved, adapted themselves to their environment and compelled the environment to undergo change.
In Eco-schools the education will not treat the environment as a distinct subject but ecology/environment will form the foundation of each segment of education. The major segments will be, on the physico-biological side: atmosphere, land & water in all their forms; and on the socio-economic side: social and economic evolution in all their aspects. Inter-relationships and linkages between physico-biological and socio-economic segments will be interpreted and explained & elaborated throughout the different levels of education.
In primary schools the emphasis will be on building up stories, skits, poems etc. to explain different topics. In secondary schools, rather than concepts & theories, the emphasis will be on examples and case studies. At higher levels concepts, theories and their practical applications can be introduced.
Field exposure, field practicals and work experience will form major component of this stream of education. The proportion of time devoted to classroom work and outdoor work will be 40:60. Field stations where students can familiarize themselves with different eco-systems and natural resources will be a prime necessity in starting an eco-educational institution.
The whole focus will be to impart a holistic view to students where his/her self-interest is subject to restrictions imposed by nature and the society. Liberty for him/her is a system of restraints. The three cardinal principles on which this system is based are -
a) Human beings should respect general and particular restraints imposed by nature.
b) Human beings should respect the right to life of all non-human beings- they be plants or animals.
c) The current generation of human beings should safeguard the interest of