Newsletter : 1- 31, January 2015 Vol. : 66   


Paryavaran Mitra Puraskar 2014

We are delighted to invite all of you to the Paryavaran Mitra Puraskar 2014 Awards Event from 16-20, February 2015 at the Regional Institute of Education (RIE) a constituent body of NCERT Ajmer, Rajasthan. The event is being organized during the annual Prakirti Mela a collaborative activity of the RIE and CEE since 2007 to strengthen Environmental Education.

The five day event will see participation of teachers and students representing more than 50 shortlisted schools for Puraskar 2014. The event will showcase exemplar action projects and teaching learning methodologies adopted by schools and confer awards to best performing schools, teachers and students. The jury this year is intended to provide spaces for open engagement, dialogue, and reflection for teachers and students.


Insights from Paryavaran Mitra Puraskar 2014

Schools, teachers and students have done exemplary work. Here’s sharing an overview of the highlights in each category. Brief description of each of the shortlisted entries is in the powerpoint attached, don’t forget to scroll through..

School Category

Puraskar 2015 saw entries from a variety of schools from all over India and we were happy to see new schools sending in entries and existing schools sustaining and building existing projects. Schools have provided immense support to teachers to teach by giving their students real life experiences evident in the classroom activities and action projects teachers have been able to design showing clear curriculum linkages across subjects. Popular themes this year were Waste (aligned with the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan of the Government of India), Water (through Paryavaran Mitra Water) and Biodiversity. The most popular actions in waste were segregation of wet and dry wastes, litter free campus initiatives, etc. Action projects on knowing about and understanding electronic waste made a debut this year. Maintaining biodiversity registers trumped plantation in the biodiversity theme. In the water theme, water flow, wastage and quality on campus was studied in great detail by students. In the Energy theme measures to reduce electricity wastage was the popular action along with electricity consumption audits. And Culture and Heritage theme saw students celebrating festivals in an eco-friendly manner and visiting cultural and heritage sites. Read about all schools’ work here

Teacher Category

Teachers this year have tried to reflect hard on their teaching practices and what their students are learning from the above experiences. Teacher reports suggest they are getting comfortable with project based learning approach by establishing curricular linkages through the grades. Teachers have worked to make the school environment a living learning space for their students to see change seeking the coordination of the school management, other teachers in the school, non-teaching staff, and parents. Teachers report that students have developed several skills like observation, survey, critical thinking, reasoning, team work, time management, overcoming conflicts, sharing of resources and a sense of accountability and responsibility towards nature. And yet, a lot needs to be done in this sphere where we need to look deeper into the educational outcomes of environmental action projects and not only focus on the environmental outcomes. The event promises a vibrant learning space for sharing experiences and learnings amongst teachers on how to take their work further. We will keep you all posted on the outcomes of this session. Stay tuned. Until then don’t forget to know about each teacher’s work here.

Student Category

Students this year spent more time trying to understand an issue before initiating action. We all know as educators how important issue identification and analysis is in project based learning. Students have conducted extensive surveys for eg. to understand what people knew about E-waste and found that not many actually have heard or know about E-waste. In other projects students observed the key issues related to waste (type, quantity, sources) before carrying out a well planned waste reduction strategy within the campus addressing specific issues. It was heartening to read their own reflections of their work and how they gained important skills for life while doing projects. What also stands out is their conviction to be able to effect change however small it might be. In the literature on EE and ESD this is called as ‘self-efficacy’ and is known to have a role in inculcating environmentally responsible behaviours (Hines, et al.,1986-87) . We are also aware that students can only do as well as the environments we as schools, educators, and parents provide them to be able to explore, discover, think, act, reflect and share.

All the activities at the event are geared towards sharing models, experiences, debating, discussing, and learning to further Handprint action in schools.

And yes, don’t forget to read an overview of student work here.


Hines, J.M., Hungerford, H.R. & Tomera, A.N. (1986-87). Analysis and synthesis of research on responsible pro-environmental behavior: a meta-analysis. Journal of Environmental Education, 18(2), pp. 1-8.                                                       Email: