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Tuesday June 25 2024

UNESCO unveils new initiatives for Greening Education in classrooms

9 June 2024 10:46 (UTC+04:00)
UNESCO unveils new initiatives for Greening Education in classrooms
Nazrin Abdul
Nazrin Abdul
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On World Environment Day, UNESCO introduced new resources aimed at incorporating environmental education into schools and curricula, emphasizing the imperative of empowering youth to actively address the climate crisis, Azernews reports.

According to UNESCO's official website, a recent analysis found that almost half of national curriculum frameworks (47%) surveyed in 2021 didn't address climate disruption, and only 23% of teachers felt adequately equipped to teach climate action. Alarmingly, 70% of surveyed young people lacked an understanding of climate disruption and expressed dissatisfaction with current teaching approaches.

Responding to these findings, Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, has prioritized environmental education support for Member States. UNESCO spearheads the Greening Education Partnership, comprising over 80 countries and more than 1,300 organizations, including UN agencies, civil society groups, youth organizations, and the private sector. This coalition equips countries with essential tools to bolster education's role in combating climate disruption.

While progress has been made in integrating environmental topics into curricula, a new report warns that education has primarily focused on imparting knowledge rather than fostering action. The report emphasizes the necessity of experiential learning to instigate change.

In light of this, UNESCO is introducing two practical tools:

1. Greening Curriculum Guidance: This manual offers a standardized approach to climate education, outlining how countries can infuse environmental topics into curricula across age groups, from kindergarten to adulthood. It advocates for active learning methods and hands-on activities.

2. Green School Quality Standard:Developed in collaboration with UN agencies, civil society, and nations, this standard sets criteria for establishing environmentally conscious schools. It recommends forming green governance committees comprising students, teachers, and parents, promoting teacher training, conducting energy, water, food, and waste audits, and fostering community engagement to address local environmental issues.

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