When the 2020 school year starts, Italy will be the first country in the world to include mandatory teaching hours about the urgent topic
Greta Thunberg will be pleased to hear that Italy’s future generations will be more informed than ever about the risks our planet faces, as in 2020 the country will build 33 hours into the curriculum regarding climate change.
According to Lorenzo Fioramonti, Italy’s education minister, all public schools will be required to integrate the topic into their curriculum. A spokesman for Fioramonti told CNN the lessons will be added to existing classes, including traditional subjects such as geography, maths and physics.
The new law will make Italy the first country in the world to introduce compulsory climate change education at all levels. Teachers will start training on climate change and sustainabilty in the new year and the school module will be rolled out in September 2020 for students aged six to 19.
The forward-thinking changes are just one part of Italy’s overall effort to put sustainability and climate at the centre of education. As a government minister, Lorenzo Fioramonti has voiced support for taxes on flying, sugar-sweetened drinks and plastics. And in September, he encouraged students in Italy to skip school to join the global climate strikes, saying on Facebook that schools should consider absences as justified because children’s lives are ‘threatened by environmental devastation and an unsustainable economic development.’
Despite some critics, Fioramonti is confident there is plenty of support among Italians for his policy, especially young people. He expanded to Huff Post, ‘They are yearning to understand how the knowledge can be applied to foster sustainable development. And they yearn for scientific education that can give meaning to their lives.’
He went on to say, ‘I have no doubt that more and more countries will join. We need to join forces among progressive societies, against this wave of denial and conservative policies.’
Meanwhile teen activist Greta continues to make headlines across the world. She recently declined an environmental award, saying the climate movement needed people in power to start to ‘listen’ to ‘science’ and not awards.
We’re inclined to agree.