Victoria spends $292 mil to educate kids to go green

Victoria will teach school students to become more environmentally minded through a contract with CERES valued at $292 million.

Students currently working with CERES Outreach as part of the ResourceSmart Schools program. Image: CERES

The Victorian government is putting money where its mouth is on green programs through a multi-million dollar investment into teaching school kids to become aware of environmental sustainability.

In a program that the Daniel Andrews Labor government says puts “sustainability at the heart of schools”, the government has entered into a Public Private Partnership valued at $292 million with the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES).

The Melbourne-based not-for-profit, sustainability centre will deliver the government’s environmental program ResourceSmart Schools, which will enable students in over 270 schools to participate in activities that “embed” sustainability into everything they do.

The activities include monitoring energy use, as well as water and waste management. Under the program, they will also learn about biodiversity and how their school can contribute towards sustainable living and financial savings through environmental sustainability.

School staff won’t be in this on their own, as they will be supported with professional development and resources to make connections with sustainability in their curriculum.

According to the government, the PPP will enable the design, finance, build and maintenance for 25 years of 15 brand new schools in Victoria’s fastest growing areas.

CERES said contracts were finalised in October with construction to commence on the first group of schools in November.

“Nine of the 15 schools will be operational from Term 1 2017, with the remainder opening the following year,” a release from CERES said.

Member for Thomastown, Bronwyn Halfpenny said this partnership with CERES will give students the skills they need to live sustainably – something they will take with them for the rest of their lives.”

CERES CEO Cinnamon Evans said it’s vital young people learn about sustainable living, so we are delighted to be working with these schools on this exciting project.

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