Eco-efficiency and resource conservation at state schools
Title: Eco-efficiency and resource conservation at state schools as a contribution to linking theory and practice in environmental education
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Peruvian Ministry of the Environment (MINAM), Peruvian Ministry of Education (MINEDU)
Overall term: 2010 to 2013
The task of developing and implementing environmental policy in Peru is made more difficult by the fact that environmental awareness among politicians and society is relatively underdeveloped. This is partly due to shortcomings in the state school system: although elements of environmental education are included in the curriculum, in practice the extent to which they are taught in schools is limited, mainly because teachers do not have the necessary training and the approach used is too theoretical.
Current initiatives such as the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment’s (MINAM) national environmental policy and eco-efficiency programme offer opportunities for improving environmental education. Another starting point is the Ministry of Education‘s (MINEDU) programme for modernising selected state schools, which aims not only to upgrade buildings but also to promote more attractive learning opportunities.
Environmental awareness is improved, particularly among the younger generation. Eco-efficiency programmes put environmental education on a broader base in the population and ensure it is sustainably institutionalised.
Based on the introduction of eco-efficiency programmes, the project works in schools to raise environmental awareness, particularly among young people, whose knowledge is then fed directly into society. The measures concentrate on high-prestige schools that are part of the Ministry of Education’s ongoing modernisation programme, the idea being that they will go on to act as a benchmark for environmental teaching.
The project’s intention is not only to address students at the selected schools; it also seeks to use the eco-efficiency programmes to place environmental education on a broader basis and institutionalise it. Germany’s contribution also includes providing initial and in-service training for teachers and external multipliers. Grants will also be available to support measures to improve eco-efficiency in schools.
The lead executing agencies are the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment (MINAM) and the Ministry of Education (MINEDU), working in close collaboration with regional and local education authorities.
The strategic approach to providing environmental knowledge and raising awareness centres on building a close link between theory and practice in the classroom and on direct experiential learning in the field of eco-efficiency. We provide support to the partner ministries in evaluating and processing these learning experiences and in developing successful examples. In this way, good approaches can also be used in other schools and institutionalised.
Results achieved so far
The baseline has been developed at the schools participating in the project in the regions of Lima, Callao, Piura, Loreto, Cajamarca, Puno, Arequipa and Cusco. Initial training courses for teaching staff and awareness-raising measures with teachers and students have been carried out. Eco-efficiency plans incorporating measures for improvement are currently being drawn up in the schools.
At the schools in Piura and Cusco, water efficient taps have been installed. Some schools have placed waste bins for the separation of rubbish – for paper, plastics, metals, glass, organic wastes and other materials – in strategic, central locations. In Lima, at the Colegio Mayor Secundario Presidente del Perú school, water meters, energy meters and a solar heating system have been installed and trees planted. In Puno and Lima, dry toilets (baños secos) are being installed. With internal eco-efficiency projects, environmental education is being integrated into teaching at all schools and implemented in a manner which is not only student-focused, but also reflects real life.
At the wish of the new direction at the Ministry of Education, the activities have been extended to rural areas with the inclusion of the two schools in the Cusco region, in Urubamba and Anta. This is in keeping with Peru’s new political direction which focuses on the social integration of rural areas.