June 2, 2024

A school electrical audit is an opportunity to teach energy conservation…


Schools in India are now creating opportunities for students to develop a sense of environmental responsibility. In New Delhi, one school renowned for its green initiatives is Birla Vidya Niketan.

Principal Minakshi Kushwaha informed the teachers that Birla Vidya Niketan has been conferred the Green Award 2023 by the Department of Education (DoE), Government of Delhi. The school has already been certified as a Green School by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

With an enrolment of over 4,000 students, Birla Vidya Niketan is situated on 6.5 acres and has a strong focus on environmental sustainability.

According to Kushwaha, the school runs on solar energy and produce from the kitchen garden is used to prepare the midday meal served to students. Birla Vidya Niketan is reportedly the first school in the country to introduce millet in its midday meal this year (Chhetri, 2023).

There are many other initiatives in the school to educate students about the importance of sustainability. Kushwaha strongly believes in inculcating a culture of sustainability right from an early age. Here, she talks about her school's electricity audit initiative for students.

Student-led monitoring

The school has a system of appointing student monitors who ensure that electronic devices like fans and lights are switched off when students leave the classroom. The monitors also instruct their peers to switch off lights and fans that are not in use, which helps to conserve electricity in the school.

The monitors are required to fill up a simple form which contains basic questions that help them understand whether students are adopting the habit of using electricity wisely.

The school is tracking its monthly electricity bills to see if the audit has made a difference in electricity consumption.

“Basically, peer education is [reduce electricity consumption] This is very important. Teachers cannot go to the classroom and teach. [all the time] “It's to know how much electricity is being wasted, how often children turn off their electric fans, etc,” Kushwaha explains.

To complement this initiative, Atal Tinkering Labs has students in grades 6-10 working with mentors from grades 11 and 12 to make sensor lights.

Peer Education

Kushwaha believes peer education is crucial to creating awareness about saving energy.

“Peer education is important everywhere, in every area of ​​the school. I think it's one of the most important tools we have to reach all kids — reaching them in their own way.”

She added that student peer educators can discuss energy usage issues from a student perspective and children are more likely to open up to them without hesitation. Even when teachers are unable to reach out to some students, peer educators are effective in connecting with them.

For example, if a peer educator notices that a grade level is not conserving electricity, she says, they will write a comment on the board.

“…They are [peer educators] They walk down the hallway and see that the classrooms are empty and the lights are on, so they quickly write: [on the board]It said, “I was passing by and all the lights were on, please make sure to turn them off,” and had my name written underneath.

Energy conservation is everyone's problem

Kushwaha said students today need to master a range of skills during their time at school and it is not possible to allocate time to teach all the skills.

She suggests: [energy conservation values] It has to be integrated and included in the daily lesson. I don't think there has to be a life skills class. Everyone should be involved and involved all the time.”

The leader added that teachers need to be aware of this effort regardless of what they teach so that children can value sustainability.

“We have a club and we call it Birla Green. The president of the Birla Green Committee is in 12th grade. And the lower [that student]We have class representatives, and each class has a supervisor. Information comes from the teachers and class representatives. We have weekly meetings and club activities. We all get together to discuss problems, issues, and what we need to do moving forward.”

Birla Green Board teachers share the board's agenda in teachers' WhatsApp groups and help their colleagues teaching different subjects to incorporate the agenda in their own lessons.


Chhetri, S. (April 5, 2023). South Delhi school takes the lead, introduces millets in meal for kids. Times of India. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/south-delhi-school-takes-the-lead-introduces-millets-in-meal-for-kids/articleshow/99249639.cms


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