Climate change is a problem we are all facing nowadays. However, even though every single of us is affected by it, only some of us are aware and understand about it enough to take action against this global disruption.
Climate change causes many disasters and inconveniences to our lives. Bigger and more severe storms, increasing temperature, shift of seasons, and death of organisms are the examples of disasters that already happens nowadays.
Since climate change is still not a serious problem for many of us, we need to educate more people about the effects and causes of it, especially children. Even though it is hard, it is possible that the whole world would finally understand about this problem if a proper education system about it exists.
Italy might be the pioneer to start this movement, by planning to put climate change into school curriculum. The practice will take place next year, and this is an official government plant announced by Italian Education Minister.
How serious is this plan? And how will it affect the war against climate change we are already fighting now? here in this article we are going to talk about this.
Italy The Pioneer
“I want to make the Italian education system the first education system that puts the environment and society at the core of everything we learn in school,” Italian Education Minister, Lorenzo Fioramonti, told Reuters in an interview.
Fioramonti has always been the most vocal supporter of green policies. His origin from The Five Star Movement (Italian: Movimento 5 Stelle), an Italian political party with environmentalist and anti-establishment view, had been criticized a lot by his ‘eccentric’ view.
The minister of education himself encouraged students to skip school and take part in climate change protests like Thunberg did. However, even though he is considered as an ‘eccentric’ minister, Fioramonti has gained huge support for his political style and view.
Italy’s ministry of education itself is said to have change into a greener view, and this is just the beginning of the story. “The entire ministry is being changed to make sustainability and climate the center of the education model,” Fioramonti said.
The program is going to be applied starting next education year, or around September 2020. “The idea is that the citizens of the future need to be ready for the climate emergency,” Vincenzo Cramarossa, Fioramonti’s spokesman, said to CNN.
An Hour A Week
The plan is to put climate-change related course in students’ curriculum, no matter what grade are they in. In total, students will get around 33 hours of climate-change related course in one educational year as long as they are in school.
Not only adding an additional course, but Italy’s ministry of education also plans to integrate other subjects into more sustainable development lens. Subjects such as geography, math, and physics would be the courses first to be integrated.
Later on, Fioramonti projected to make climate change awareness and overall environmental awareness to be integrated in every single subject. And to make the subjects go with the plan, the syllabus will be based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
However, United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals is a collection of 17 goals focused on tackling poverty, inequality and climate change. Thus, even though the concentration is on tacking climate change, it will carry additional benefits.
This plan is supported by many sides, especially environmental groups. Edoardo Zanchini, vice president of Legambiente, a big environmental group in Italy, told New York Times in an interview that immediate action is indeed needed. “Science tells us the next 10 years are crucial. We cannot wait for the next generation,” he said.
Italy would be the first nation to include climate-change related subject into their curriculum. But it surely would not be the last and the only one, at least according to evidences. What evidences? Well, the first and the most obvious evidence is young activists’ movement all around the world.
Young activists strike already took place several times all around the world, meaning that they already have the concern to save this planet. The Education Minister considered it as the prove of increasing demand for sustainable development, and education is the way.
“They are yearning to understand how the knowledge can be applied to foster sustainable development,” Fioramonti told Huffington Post. “And they yearn for scientific education that can give meaning to their lives.”
It can also mean that up until now there is still no scientific education talking about our environment, at least sufficient enough for us to make a change with the application. We learn a lot of science in school, but most of it is only about the theory.
However, not only for young activists, Fioramonti said that he wants to spread the education to all ages, from older generation to young ones. He simply wants to “build a strong bridge between old and new generations around sustainable development as a social glue.”
Of course, we have to start somewhere if we want to achieve something. So does this mission to give environmental education to young activists. In this case, the first step taken by Italian government is by finding the right guide for the teachers.
A new curriculum would be produced with the help of a panel of experts from Harvard and Oxford. This new curriculum is indeed planned to be released next educational year, but training for the school teachers will begin starting from January 2020.
At least it proves that Italy has taken the first giant leap. Then how about other countries? Fioramonti said that it only needs time for other countries to join the movement. “I have no doubt that more and more countries will join,” said Fioramonti. “We need to join forces among progressive societies, against this wave of denial and conservative policies.”
Out of this context, President of United States officially started the process to pull out of Paris Climate Agreement the same week as Italy’s announcement. It might mean that some countries would walk later than other countries.