Romania is still deficient in terms of mass education on environmental issues, sustainability and the impact of personal behavior on the climate. Today’s children are tomorrow’s decision-makers, so their education must include responsibility for the environment, including the most efficient management of the planet’s resources.
Although it is not on the timetable and the teachers do not teach it yet, energy efficiency would certainly be a favorite subject of students.
“We encourage schools in Romania to participate in the Film4Energy Challenge contest launched by the European Commission (EC), which will take place between October 1, 2021 and February 15, 2022”, say the officials of the Efficient Romania (România Eficientă) platform.
What does this contest consist of? Students aged 12 to 15 from all EU countries are invited to create a video on how they can save energy in their daily lives, teaching their relatives, friends, neighbors and the world about the benefits of energy efficiency and encouraging the use of energy efficient alternatives for heating, cooling, transportation and other daily activities.
“Young people have the power to inspire their communities to reduce energy consumption and can successfully promote the environmental and economic benefits of reducing energy consumption across the EU,” says the European Commission.
“Through the Efficient Romania project, we set out to contribute to this mission of changing the mentality regarding the fight against waste of resources. We do this through education and awareness-raising campaigns aimed at the general public, with special attention being paid to pupils and students,”, says Radu Dudău, director of Energy Policy Group and coordinator of the Efficient Romania project.
In Romania, one of the most well-known successful models is the one developed this year at the Ciugud Secondary School (Alba County), the first smart school in rural Romania. In partnership with an American company, the local administration set up an electronic recycling station in the school yard. The station was customized in the form of a robot called “Verzulică – the recycling robot”, and the children were challenged, until the end of the summer vacation, to recycle as much packaging and collect as many virtual coins – CIUGUbani.
At the beginning of the new school year, the virtual coins collected were to be converted into real money, which children will be able to use to finance small projects and educational or extracurricular activities.
Another model for environmental education, this time in Greece, is the “Greening our schools” project, which aimed to raise awareness of environmental issues and inspire students to take action to it makes the school and the community greener.
Through the EU initiative “Wave of renovation” of buildings, European funds for energy renovation of buildings in Romania will be huge. They can be used intelligently, with a long-term vision, if we start with schools. By renovating schools in Romania, the learning opportunity for the little ones is huge: not only will students and teachers study in a healthier environment and conducive to increasing school performance, but the school will become a practical “workshop” in itself about the huge benefits of efficiency energy and sustainability.
In addition, schools are like “beacons” for public opinion, because they attract a lot of attention, so their energy renovation will help to raise awareness in society about the importance of energy efficiency.