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UNESCO calls for environmental education to be taught in classrooms

Education is not giving students sufficient knowledge to adapt, act and respond to climate change and environmental crises, according to a new report.

The , on the eve of the World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, examined educational plans and curricula frameworks in close to 50 countries across all regions.

It found more than half make no reference to climate change while only 19% speak about biodiversity.

The study notes a lack of attention to socio-emotional skills and action-oriented competences that are central to environmental and climate action. In an on-line survey of some 1,600 teachers and education leaders conducted for the study, one third of respondents indicated that environment-related issues were not part of teacher training.

‘Education must prepare learners to understand the current crisis and shape the future. To save our planet, we must transform the way we live, produce, consume and interact with nature,’ said Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO.

‘Integrating education for sustainable development into all learning programmes must become fundamental, everywhere.’

UNESCO has therefore set a new target: to make environmental education a core curriculum component in all countries by 2025.

The organisation is working with its 193 member states to support curriculum reform and track progress to ensure everyone acquires the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to introduce positive change and protect our planet’s future.

The World Conference will bring together some 2,500 participants, including 81 education ministers and leading players committed to the transformation of education so that all learners can address the climate crisis, biodiversity loss and all other sustainable development challenges. It will aim to create strategies for the integration of education for sustainable development into every level of education and training, in line with a new framework.

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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