Every time during the examinations, we students grumble incessantly about E.V.E. Everybody has the same complaint, “This is such a BORING subject! What good does this do to anyone?” Even teachers do not like E.V.E. much. They teach it because they don’t have much of a choice in the matter. For sometime now, I have been wondering about this myself. I have been trying to jot down a few points in my mind that would justify the existence of this subject. But then, I cannot think of any reason other than that it is supposed to make us aware about our environment.
I suppose this reason would have been good enough if a lot of positive results could be seen since the introduction of this subject in schools. However, I do not see how this subject has been helpful in forming a better environment. There haven’t been many noticeable changes around me whose credit would go to E.V.E. I can vouch for my town in this matter. There are still many unattended garbage dumps, and the students still don’t hesitate before throwing their chocolate wrappers on the road. In almost every E.V.E. class, we learn about the harmful consequences of plastics, but hardly anyone refuses a plastic packet when shopping. Students still forget to switch off fans and lights while leaving a room, and a running tap is a very regular sight everywhere. Even people who score above eighty percent in E.V.E. do not stick to the rules and safety measures that they had learnt up during the examinations. When it comes to practice, those rules can be shot to hell.
Even the teaching of this subject is done in a bland stale manner. In every class, the chapters are read aloud, sometimes by a single girl, and sometimes by the entire class in unison. E.V.E. is one of the most popular classes when it comes to dozing or completing homework of other subjects. Every year, we have the same lessons. Apart from a few new terms, what we learn is the same. There is such a lack of new lessons. We do not do much of practical work in this subject. The best that we do is make clay models of ecosystems, or write about the types of pollutions and the ways of reducing them. In our school, we have a ‘Spice Club’. Only girls of classes nine and ten are allowed to be its member. It is supposed to be an environment awareness club, but we never seem to see what they do. Nothing noticeable happens, or at least we never come to know of anything done by them.
If the board removed this subject all of a sudden, there would be quite a lot of celebration among the students and the teachers alike. I suppose there was a very noble idea behind the introduction of this subject, but the idea doesn’t seem to be working out. It has just become a useless load for the students and teachers. In any case, I believe that the most important environmental awareness lessons are learnt at home. If the parents do not bother about keeping the environment clean, and if they are not keen on making sure that their children do the same, no amount of E.V.E. at school could make significant changes in the child’s character. How can anyone expect a child whose parents regularly waste water, paper and electricity to be an environment-friendly person?