For one’s holistic development and understanding of the world, education is key. This is why every person is encouraged to pursue quality education. It teaches us ways to lead life in an ideal way. Right from world history to political science, to studying the water bodies of the world, the school and college curriculum undertakes a myriad of subjects and issues that exist in the world. Why must then a pressing issue like climate change be kept out?
The world has witnessed many natural calamities in the past few years. Wildfires that engulfed most of Australia, the countless floods, earthquakes and cyclones that hit different countries of the world like Russia, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, China, and Japan, and some volcanic eruptions have all us the threat that climate change is posing to the world. All, especially the youth on whom the future of the world depends, need to understand the reasons behind everything that’s going down with the overall environment.
The United Nations has made it mandatory for educational institutions to incorporate climate change studies into their curriculum. Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report released by UNESCO in 2021 stated, “Education is a critical tool to help populations understand and address the impacts of climate change and to encourage changes in attitudes and behaviour to support more sustainable lifestyles and develop new skills and knowledge. Climate change education can enhance the resilience of vulnerable groups and communities with mitigation and adaptation strategies, especially in low-income countries, that risk being disproportionately affected by these changing conditions.”
The report also mentioned that only 50% of the countries have incorporated and focused on the subject in their national policies and academic curriculum. This percentage is insufficient to realise the final goal of reducing the hazards of climate change. The report also highlights that even those countries that have climate change studies in their syllabus are only restricted to primary level education. Climate change studies aren’t incorporated at the higher studies level.
Incorporating climate change studies help in educating the younger generations about the reasons causing climate change, the various aspects that lead to climate change, and ways to tackle it. The subject will not just educate the students but also influence their behaviour and teach them to adopt sustainable living. It changes their mindset and inculcates an environment-friendly attitude. This will also help them in bringing about changes in their professional spaces once they start working by devising strategies and approaches which protect the environment.
Schools and colleges must adopt unique pedagogical approaches to make the young realise its importance in the most easiest manner. A balanced combination of theory and practicals along with projects and assignments will help the students in understand planet conservation in a detailed manner.
An added benefit of incorporating climate change studies in the curriculum is that it will indirectly also educate or atleast create awareness among the parents of the students thereby expanding the whole purpose of launching the subject.