Trailblazing Innoventures Education school among Top 10 for prestigious World’s Best School Prize for Environmental Action

Student-led recycling initiatives at DIA
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Dubai International Academy – Emirates Hills (DIA), the city’s only IB Continuum School rated Outstanding by KHDA, has been named in the Top 10 shortlist for the World’s Best School Prize for Environmental Action. The World’s Best School Prizes, founded by T4 Education in collaboration with Accenture, American Express, and the Lemann Foundation, are the world’s most prestigious education prizes. This year’s winners will share a $50,000 prize fund and will be invited to the World Schools Summit, to be held in Dubai on November 23-24, 2024.

Poonam Bhojani, CEO of Innoventures Education, said: “Innoventures Education schools are proud of our student-led climate action movement, that drives every aspect of our community and permeates our school culture. It’s the passionate engagement and proactive initiatives of our students that truly set us apart and make us deserving of the World’s Best School Prize for Environmental Action. By nurturing a culture of student-led activism and providing platforms for their voices to be heard, we will continue fostering environmental awareness, advocacy, and action.”

The active participation of the DIA EH community – over 5,000 students, parents, and staff members – resulted in an outstanding collection of 1,000 kg of E-waste during World Environment Day and 1,914 kg for Campus Sustainability Month. Inspired by this success, students are now partnering with local businesses to place E-waste bins, expanding their impact beyond the school to the wider community.

The school’s vibrant Eco Club has a 15-year legacy of tackling pressing issues like plastic pollution and E-waste. They even hosted a model COP28 event, bringing together students from across Dubai to discuss environmental challenges.

Furthermore, sustainability is embedded in the curriculum. Every unit of inquiry connects to a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal and collaboration is key – Year 2 students explore habitats, while senior members of the Water for Life club teach students water conservation, fostering a spirit of shared responsibility.

DIA EH students have repaired and donated used bicycles to promote sustainable transportation and refurbished old iPads and laptops to support online learning initiatives in Africa. DIA EH is a solarised campus, and the school encourages car-pooling, cycling, and walking. Thanks to a year-long campaign, the number of car-free students has tripled.

Hitesh Bhagat, Principal, DIA Emirates Hills, said: “At DIA, student-led initiatives create a lasting impact. They cultivate environmental awareness, global citizenship, and a dedication to making a real difference. This movement extends beyond the school walls, inspiring a greener future for all. Being shortlisted for the World’s Best School prize is a testament to our students and teachers’ incredible efforts over the years. We couldn’t be prouder of our global-minded community who are active change agents.”

Should Dubai International Academy Emirates Hills win the World’s Best School Prize for Environmental Action, the prize money would be used to advance sustainability efforts by establishing hydroponic systems for growing organic vegetables on campus. This initiative would further reduce the school’s carbon footprint and enhance student engagement in eco-friendly practices, reinforcing the academy’s role as a leader in environmental education and action.

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