By William Hallowell, CP News Reporter.
The Government will introduce climate change into the science curriculum by 2023, the Education Secretary has announced in his COP26 speech.
Nadhim Zahawi has announced a range of new measures during his COP26 speech on Friday, which includes teaching children the importance of conserving and protecting the planet as a part of the national science curriculum.
This change to the syllabus is expected to come into place by 2023, and aims to teach children about nature and their impact on the world.
School children will be encouraged to become more involved with nature by increasing biodiversity and making small steps, like installing bird feeders in the grounds of their nurseries, schools and sixth form colleges. Improving biodiversity is hoped to have a significant impact on the environment.
To encourage children and young people to become more involved with the environment and educated on the effects and impact of climate change, they will be able to undertake a new, annual Climate Award, in recognition of the work they do.
Students will be able to progress through different levels of the award, from ‘bronze’, ‘silver’ and ‘gold’, in a similar way to how the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme works.
Additionally, all further education teachers trained through an apprenticeship will be required to integrate sustainability into their teaching, through modelling sustainable practices and promoting sustainable development principles in relation to their subject specialism, from December 2021.
These new measures will be developed over the next 6 months in collaboration with students, teachers, sustainability experts and environmentalists before April 2022.
Zahawi’s announcement comes as various green activist groups have been putting increased pressure on the Government to make climate change education a mandatory aspect of the school curriculum.
Labour MP, Nadia Whittome, who works with the student-led campaign Teach the Future, said:
The Teach the Future campaign said on Twitter that this move from the Education Secretary is a “great step forwards”, but questions: “is it enough?”.
Assistant Director-General for Education of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Stefania Giannini, said:
Italian Minister of Education Patrizio Bianchi said:
Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street.
Photo licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License.