Schools urged to go green from next year

DUBAI — The new and existing schools in the emirate will soon have to ‘go green’ with the educational body all set to chart out a policy monitoring their environmental standards.

By Preeti Kannan (Our staff reporter)

Published: Thu 3 Jul 2008, 1:21 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:00 PM

Students of seven public schools will be taught green issues as part of a pilot project — Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

The Dubai Schools Agency (DSA), the government educational body which is part of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), will come out with a policy by this September governing private and public schools.

Under the new policy, existing schools would have to look at environmentally sustainable ways of conserving water and power on their campuses, while the new schools would have to be built in accordance with the 'green standards' set by the authority.

Fatma Al Marri, CEO of the DSA, told Khaleej Times that the decision follows their visit to British and German schools that have developed green standards. They toured schools in England that meet British sustainable building standards.

"We want new and existing private and public schools to go green, where the existing ones can look at water and power conservation methods. The new schools should be structurally designed to be environment-friendly. This is in line with the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to adopt green building standards in Dubai," said Al Marri.

As part of the pilot project, the students of the seven public schools will learn about environmental issues as part of their curriculum.

She added, "We are working on the policy which would be ready by the beginning of the new academic year (September) and all schools will have to implement it."

The proposals to build new schools hereon will have to adhere to the standards set by the authority while the existing schools will be given time to implement them.

The DSA officials have purchased lab equipment and furniture from Germany for new government schools being built in the emirate. Federal and the emirate's government schools will also introduce a "pull-down lab" concept, which will have all necessary lab equipment hanging from a beam in the ceiling. The lab equipment, which will have gas and electricity sent through the beam, will be operated by the teacher.

Al Marri explained, "It is safe, which is most important, and the classroom can be used as a multi-purpose room, not just as a science lab. This will make the best use of classroom space. It will be the first time this idea has been put into use in the Middle East."

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