La Mia Scoula Verde!
In the language of Dante and Michelangelo, of Machiavelli, Verga and Boccaccio too, this is My Green School.
Italy has contributed by way much to the world of art and architecture, literature and fashion, as well as in the life-affirming art forms of film, design and opera. This hallowed home of the Leaning Tower of Pisa has this day found something profoundly Bhutanese to celebrate.
Education is Bhutan’s young and radiant face. If anything can be said about education, it is vast and fluid, and it is ever running. And so, we move on in search of its new meaning and purpose. My Green School, a serious and solemn meditation of one of Bhutan’s finest educators, Thakur Singh Powdyel, has been translated into Italian and is going online today in Il Belpaese of Galileo, Marconi, Montessori and Fermi.
Where is education in the world’s mad scheme of things today? What ought to be about higher dreams and invocations have come down to small ambitions and mere exhortations, alas! Education, in Powdyellian language, has lost its mission and become unfocussed. It is My Green School, his seminal work, that is today quietly shaping the hearts and minds of education systems the world over.
Home away from home
My Green School has been translated into Spanish, Vietnamese, Japanese, Catalan (a Romance language spoken in eastern and northeastern Spain—chiefly in Catalonia and Valencia—and in the Balearic Islands). The Kannada edition of the book is called Nanna Parnishaale. The German and other versions are coming soon!
These thoughts on education are a singular document on the future of education. As one of the reigning lights of American journalism, Sarah L Kaufman, remarked that our [human] language is physically rooted and inescapably so. We can talk only in terms of our bodily past and present.
In this sense, the questions of what was education, what it is today, and what it can become in the future are vitally important. This is perhaps why Gunter Pauli, educator, innovator, entrepreneur and founder of The Blue Economy and initiator of the Zero Emissions Project said this about My Green School: “When I read ‘My Green School’, I immediately realised that its message had to reach as many children in as many places as possible.”
Call from home
Recently, I met a Bhutanese educator who had this to say about the Bhutanese education system. The tone of shrouded guilt and protean pride in his voice was painful.
My Green School is the future. The rhymes, metaphors and the linguistic devices in the book besides—which are food for scholars and readers—there is the outline for the possibilities that we must reach to. A Bhutanese friend of the author said that within the pages of My Green School, one had the opportunity to “gleam gems of ideas big and profound, ideas that can bring back the most honoured ideals of education…in a fine, clutter-free language that often verges on the poetic. Besides the ideas, there is language to relish.”
The same Bhutanese educator who I recently met said that My Green School was very much the picture of the Bhutanese education system although what was done on a daily basis inside the classrooms did not take the name of My Green School.
“Much more can be done, why not” he said.
This day, on October 14, which is also observed as the World Environment Education Day to highlight the importance of developing educational action to build transversal skills in schools, parks, environmental education centres, public institutions, associations, museums, La Mia Scoula Verde goes online in Italy.