Lessons, nature go hand in hand

Edu Dept launches project to create herbal, botanical parks in govt schools

Lessons, nature go hand in hand

A botanical park set up at Government Elementary Smart School, Meerakot Kalan.

Neha Saini
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, July 19

Taking a leap towards learning with nature, the Education Department, has launched a pilot project to create herbal and botanical parks in government schools.

Launching the project today, District Education Officer (Elementary) Sushil Tuli, said, “The idea is to utilise open grounds in schools and impart practical knowledge related to plants and their health benefits to students. This project is being undertaken in four schools in the district and a nursery with herbs and medicinal plants has been set up at Government Senior Secondary Smart School Karampura.”

Dharminder Singh Gill, who is curating these botanical parks, said “It was being felt that schools should impart constant knowledge on environment as the focus has shifted to sustainable learning in the past few years. We have created a nursery with varieties of snake palms, neem, fruit and flower bearing plants of native varieties. These saplings will be planted in various institutes.”

One of the first botanical park has been created at Government Elementary Smart School, Meerakot, with help of the department and schoolteacher Davinder Kaur. She has been instrumental in giving a creative touch to the botanical park that has a separate section for cacti, a rose garden and a herb garden with super plants, including lemongrass, aloe vera, neem and basil.

Making the garden a learning space for children, she has created geometrical shapes around the boundaries, used painted colourful stones for practical learning purposes.

“We have been working to create a green space in sync with outdoor-learning concept for kids in schools from 2018. Apart from the botanical park, we also have a lot of fruit-bearing trees at our school premises, each tree bearing its name plate so that children learn about their botanical names,” said Davinder.

Tuli said all these activities would give a push towards more inclusive and wholesome learning environment in primary schools.

He said, “When kids will come back to school after reopening, learning in close proximity with nature will build an affinity towards nurturing for environment and it’s also proven to be beneficial for overall health and development of children. Especially, in case of special children at our school in Karampura, creating nursery and introducing concept of vermicomposting to kids will also help in skill development courses.”

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