All aboard for Bali

| March 9, 2012 | 0 Comments

An innovative new school – the Green School – has opened in Bali, on the banks of the Ayung River. Founders Cynthia and John Hardy say the school’s tagline, ‘Equipping Children for 2025’, has grown out of their 30-year commitment to environmental issues.

The Green School is home to students from preschool to Grade 8 and offers the International Baccalaureate and International General Certificate of Secondary Education syllabi, adapted to include sustainable practices in schooling and entrepreneurship.

The large 20-acre campus boasts 75 buildings constructed from bamboo, alang-alang grass and mud, and cooled and powered by renewable energy sources such as micro-hydro power, solar power and bio-diesel. Apart from a few necessary cement floors, almost everything is made from bamboo – even the blackboards, desks, chairs and lamps. “Frankly, it would have been hard to talk to students about sustainability while they were using pieces of rainforest for their chairs and their tables,” explains Cynthia Hardy.

The school’s administrative centre – called the Heart of School – built at a cost of US$225 000, is a majestic, threestorey building containing three interconnecting spirals.

Towering over 20 metres tall, it enjoys over 2 000 m2 of floor space. Building the structure took 2 630 bamboo poles and 10 000 strips of alang-alang roofing. It houses the school library, information technology laboratory, meeting rooms, exhibition spaces and offices.

Not an ounce of space is wasted, say the Hardys, who were careful to make the entire campus an organic permaculture system that supports a thriving organic garden sustained by the students and teachers. The innovative curriculum – called Green Studies – enable students to grow and market the cacao used in chocolate, and to learn about organic farming and sustainable building methods alongside traditional subjects like Maths.

Students will also learn about carbon footprint analysis and water studies, yoga, batik painting using materials on site, and the Balinese traditional art of Mepantingan.

The Green School has enrolled students and teachers from both the local and global community. “In a few years time,” says John Hardy, “we want a year-round community of summer camps and symposia. The campus will host environmentalists and change makers from all over the globe giving students the opportunity to learn about the importance of respecting the planet year round.”

Category: Autumn 2012

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