Over 300 students kickstart energy efficiency at school level | Sunday Observer

Over 300 students kickstart energy efficiency at school level

Students in nine provinces have been empowered to become ‘Champions of Green Energy’
Students in nine provinces have been empowered to become ‘Champions of Green Energy’

Over 300 students in nine Provinces have been empowered to become ‘Champions of Green Energy’ as Sri Lanka pushes forward on the agenda to shift from fossils to renewable energies.

Students, youth and teachers representing schools from all nine provinces took part in an interactive series of training courses aimed at enhancing awareness, knowledge and enthusiasm on renewable energy and energy efficiency in their schools and homes.

After participating in the workshop, the trained students will be tasked to conduct another 10 workshops in their respective Provinces, and thereby, 90 awareness workshops will reach at least 2,700 students.

The workshops were part of a series of ToT (Training of Trainers) programs in selected schools of all nine Provinces, which include two workshops per Province and 50 trainers in each Province.

The ToT workshops were tailor made for secondary school students to introduce Green Energy technologies in an early stage of education, as well as, motivate the students to engage in simple energy conserving practices, individually. “This series of workshops created a platform for students and teachers to come together and work on topics like energy efficiency and waste management, and discuss practical measures they can implement in the schools. Although school syllabus has incorporated theoretical aspects of energy efficiency, most of the students and teachers were unable to translate this into practical projects. We were glad to see them working together to convert their knowledge to actual projects,” said Damitha Samarakoon, Deputy Director, Janathakshan.

Each of the selected schools have ‘Renewable Energy Clubs’ established, which would then serve as a framework to further introduce renewable energy systems in the schools by the trained students.

As a follow up to these workshops, these students are in the process of developing their own module and conducting pilot projects through guidance and support from Janathakshan.

Some of these include solar rooftops, biogas, energy efficient school lighting, composting and home gardening projects for theschool.

The Federal Foreign Office in Germany supports Sri Lanka’s ambitions to promote renewable energies by providing accessibility to information and sensitizing the general public for a more conscious use of energy through the Green Energy Champion project implemented by GIZ.

For this initiative, GIZ partnered with Janathakshan to spread the word on the need for energy efficiency and build up a network of green energy ambassadors who would take the message further to their villages. Janathakshan is a not for profit organization that promotes the use of green energy technology in Sri Lanka.

“Energy saving is a global concern no matter where we live. We depend on the next generation to treat this planet better. We have to empower children to take ownership of such initiatives and become change agents in their societies,” said GIZ Country Director Randa-Kourieh Ranarivelo.