February 4, 20151752Views

Close to 200 energy saving light bulbs have been installed in the
Seventh-day Adventist School as part of the SMART School Project being piloted
in the three schools in Sea Cow’s Bay.

installation of the Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs serves to provide higher
quality lighting in classrooms while reducing energy consumption costs. The initiative
is a component of the SMART Schools Pilot Project spearheaded by the Department
of Disaster Management (DDM) in collaboration with the Ministry and Department
of Education and Culture.

SMART School Project seeks to create safer, healthier and greener learning
environments and offer better educational experiences for school
administrators, teachers and students while also fostering a culture that
promotes environmental sensitivity, energy and water efficiency and
conservation and healthy students and schools.

DDM’s Deputy Director,
Ms. Evangeline Inniss explained that the SDA School was chosen for this
component of the project because the energy data acquired through the audits
completed at all three schools revealed that this school had the most potential
for significant savings to be obtained through the installation of LED lighting.  In addition, the light fixtures at the SDA
school were in good condition and therefore the project funds could be
maximised by purchasing bulbs only.

Ms. Inniss further
explained, “This type of lighting provides an improved colour rendering when compared
to the fluorescent type bulbs that are common in most schools in the BVI.  Studies have shown that this enhanced color
created by the LED bulbs results in better student performance and improved
information retention.”

From the start of the Project in July
2014, SDA School Principal, Mr. Wade Tobin has been excited about the prospect of
being able to obtain savings in the school’s operating expenditure. 

He said, “The LED lights, which are
noticeably whiter and softer on the eyes, are providing a more aesthetically
pleasing light quality that teachers and administrators alike very much appreciate.
In addition to improving the learning environment, we also want to see reduced
costs in our energy consumption because the more money we save on things like
energy consumption, the more money that we can invest into programmes and tools
that will further enhance our students’ education.”

Going forward, the DDM plans to
maintain ongoing collaboration with the schools involved in the SMART School

“As it relates to the SDA School,
from here on, the DDM intends to work with the institution to take the Green
Pledge, develop energy conservation procedures and ensure their use as well as
monitor the energy saving data with the intention of
providing an illustration of cost savings over time,” Ms. Inniss stated,
adding, “The DDM is also keen on hearing from the children to determine the
impact that the new lighting is having in the classrooms.”

The SMART model was conceptualised
during the development of the Virgin Islands Comprehensive Disaster Management
Strategy and Programming Framework which was approved by Cabinet in early 2014.  The strategy seeks to utilise Sustained, Mitigation,
Adaptation and Resilient Techniques (SMART) in all 14 sectors operating in the

The SMART School Pilot Project has
several components including the production of a video, a health fair,
development and testing of school disaster management plans, community
workshops, creation of a community profile of Sea Cow’s Bay and training. Funding
for the project is being provided by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA)
through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), as part of
the Mainstreaming Climate Change in Disaster Management in the Caribbean Phase
II (CCDM-II) Project.