Mumbai: As winter and Diwali approaches in India, the issue of air pollution and smog has already penetrated in several regions, especially across the north. To tackle the rising pollution, various state governments are encouraging people to plant trees and joining this movement is the Karnataka Secondary Education Examination Board (KSEEB). Going a step ahead, the KSEEB is likely to offer incentives in the form of extra marks to students of class 8,9 and 10 who plant trees and nurture them for at least three years. Class ten students will be allotted marks in their final board exam.
Karnataka’s Department of Forest Environment and Ecology has submitted a proposal to the Department of Primary and Secondary Education. As per the proposal, students who are currently studying in the final three years of their higher secondary level schooling will have to plant 10 saplings each. Once planted, it will be mandatory for the students to look after them ensuring a steady growth for the next three years.
Keeping in mind the increasing levels of air pollution, especially in Bengaluru and decreasing green cover, the forest department has decided to involve the changemakers of future. It is not easy to get all the students to plant trees and thus this new incentive is likely to be introduced soon in all the schools that come under the KSEEB. Students are always keen on scoring as many marks possible, especially the ones studying in standard 10. This activity will benefit both, the students and the state, said an official from the Department of Forest Environment and Ecology.
The proposal, however, also mentions that the marks will be allotted based on the number of plants at the end of the third year. 10 marks will be given to the student if he/she is able to retain all the 10 saplings till the very end. An official from the forest department will monitor the growth of the plants every six months. To make the activity more interesting, the proposal has also said that the KSEEB can give out certificates to the students containing a photograph of the plant they planted. This idea was inspired from Siddhartha University in Tumakuru who gives out graduation certificates to the students along with a photo of the plant they nurtured for three years.
Students can choose the place of planting the sapling and it can be premises of the school, sides of the roads, in their house or neighbourhood. Different types of saplings including custard apple, chikkoo, jackfruit, gooseberry, jamoon, neem, guava, etc will be distributed among the students for free.
Karnataka isn’t the first state to introduce this initiative. Last year its southern counterpart, Telangana has started tree plantation in the state-run schools under its Telanganaku Haritha Haram, a massive plantation programme. Twenty marks are allotted for the plant project in which students of class 7,8, and 9 have to adopt a sapling and plant it in their respective schools or residences.
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