One Earth, Our Earth – Together We Can Make a Difference
Sangeeta Shukramani is a primary teacher in New Delhi, India who takes her role in developing responsible citizens very seriously. Shukramani recently won recognition at the Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum for her “One Earth, Our Earth – Together We Can Make a Difference” project aimed at sensitizing students to environmental conservation.
Her students, or as she calls them, “green warriors,” used 21st century skills and tools to build a public awareness and community advocacy campaign that ignited not just students, but parents and teachers as well.
“There is a visible change in the culture of the school in terms of healthy lifestyle, saving energy, and recycling,” notes Shukramani. “Students and teachers are improving the
environment of the school by monitoring and reducing electricity and water usage, auditing and planning sustainable transport to and from school.”
How did they achieve the impressive results? Shukramani thinks that, along with a project-based learning approach, information and communication technology (ICT) was key to their success.
“Use of ICT in education has facilitated innovation in education to a great extent. It sets your mind free and presents a vast source of information before you to facilitate innovation,” Shukramani says.
But more important to Shukramani than the technology enabling education is the objective.
“Education helps us to discover lasting values and teaches the lesson of humanity,” she notes.
To illustrate that point, Shukramani likes to share a poem that has inspired her beliefs about the responsibility of educators:
Whose Child Is This
“Whose child is this?” I asked one day
Seeing a little one out at play
“Mine”, said the parent with a tender smile
“Mine to keep a little while”
To bathe his hands and comb his hair
To tell him what he is to wear
To prepare him that he may always be good
And each day do the things he should”
“Whose child is this?” I asked again
As the door opened and someone came in
“Mine”, said the teacher with the same tender smile
“Mine, to keep just for a little while
To teach him how to be gentle and kind
To train and direct his dear little mind
To help him live by every rule
And get the best he can from school”
Whose child is this?” I ask once more
Just as the little one entered the door
“Ours” said the parent and the teacher as they smiled
And each took the hand of the little child
“Ours to love and train together
Ours this blessed task forever.”
– Author Unknown