Tuesday saw the Maharashtra government announce a new syllabus that focuses on climate crisis for students in classes 1-8. The Majhi Vasundhara Abhiyan was developed by Unicef and the department of environment andclimate change. It aims to raise awareness about the climate crisis as well as instill a sense of responsibility among students for the planet. This curriculum will include activities-based lessons on biodiversity conservation and solid waste management, water resource management, energy, pollution, and the climate crisis.
It is a great move and a necessity. This is because India has no curriculum on the climate crisis, although it’s one of the top 10 countries affected by it. At present, students have environment education, but it’s primarily focussed on textbook reading. Although they are taught about the causes and consequences of climate change, global warming, and pollution, they are not taught how to implement these concepts in their lives. Many students have also realized this problem and requested a separate curriculum to address the climate crisis. A group of young environmental activists created an online petition asking the Delhi and central governments for climate education in Delhi schools to educate students about the effects of the global climate crisis.
Children must be taught to address and understand environmental degradation, climate change, species extinction, resource depletion, and lack of wellbeing. Reports from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have also argued for the introduction of climate education. The government must provide teachers with the tools and training necessary to teach environmental pedagogy. Maharashtra has done an excellent job of recognising children and their role as critical agents for change in addressing the environmental and climate crisis. To encourage a more proactive and sensitive mindset among students on this critical issue, other states should follow Maharashtra’s lead and develop their own climate education plans.
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