The Green School in Bali is teaching a community of over 400 young learners to become green leaders.
Located in the middle of the jungle in the Sibang Kaja Village, the Green School’s mission is to deliver a generation of global citizens who are knowledgeable about and inspired to take responsibility for the sustainability of the world.
The Green School is an inspiring example of education for the future of the Earth from its unique curriculum through to the premises itself.
Students at the school, which includes students from all over the world, learn to nurture respect for and understanding of the natural world, develop ecological values out of first hand experience, understand and practice permaculture, and to understand sustainability as an entire web of relationships in community – interacting with other communities.
Green School Alliance say: “Green School is an amazing project, pioneering sustainability within education. It is pushing boundaries in schooling at a time when the world must review whether more of the same is acceptable.
“It is preparing students to be critical and creative thinkers who are confident to champion the sustainability of the world and its environment. It is inspiring their thirst to know more, equipping them with appropriate and relevant knowledge, and nurturing their passion to influence change in the way we are managing this planet.”
Green School was founded in 2006 by former jewellers John and Cynthia Hardy. The couple founded the Green School to change the traditional idea of a school and help students go beyond the walls of a classroom. Green School students are encouraged to learn by engaging with nature.
John Hardy, who as a child with dyslexia used to “cry his way to school”, has created a school that successfully intertwines education with having fun.
The campus resembles a giant adventure playground and the curriculum features surfing, mud wrestling and graffiti. Designed to have the lowest carbon footprint possible, the school’s wall-less classrooms are crafted entirely from bamboo. At the centre is a communal learning space called Heart of School – a colossal bamboo tower that rises into the sky.
Students are engaged and their desire for learning is expansive given the holistic approach to schooling.
The school is a response to Western education systems that are unethical and “categorically broken”. Although critics have accused the school of “green washing”, the school is said to have some of the happiest, worldliest and most socially advanced around.
In addition to serving as a model for living sustainably, a central tenet of Green School’s mission is to contribute positively to the local community, and help to build a stronger community and culture through local engagement. That is why of those 387 students, 15 percent of them are Indonesian, some of whom are recipients of the school’s Local Scholar scholarship program.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea