Climate change: Scottish pupils join global campaign to demand subject is mandatory in schools

High school pupils across Scotland will be swapping roles as learners to become teachers in the run-up to COP26, as part of a global campaign to demand that climate change education is made a compulsory part of the national curriculum.

Despite government commitments to make climate action and adaptation a national priority, the subject is still barely covered and the extent of courses varies from school to school.

Surveys suggest the lack of information and solution-based learning about the environmental crisis is causing escalating levels of anxiety for young people.

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Now, as part of a month of actions, pupils in Scotland, the UK and across the world are presenting a series of special classes and assemblies where they will impart their wisdom and fears about climate change to teachers.

Pupils in Scotland and across the world are taking over classes as part of the international Teach the Teachers campaign, calling for education on climate change to be made a mandatory part of school lessons

Created by an international group of student organisers from campaign groups Mock COP and SOS-UK, the Teach the Teacher campaign seeks to tackle inadequate levels of climate education globally and is urging governments to act on the issue as world leaders come to Scotland for COP26.

Supported by the Teach the Teacher global network, students will take on the role of the teacher and present a lesson that has been tabled into the school week.

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Classes will focus on issues including environmental education, climate justice and how to start a conversation about global warming in the classroom.

A new global survey has found increasing levels of anxiety about the impacts of climate change among young people

Schools across 21 countries will take part in the initiative, including those particularly at risk from the damaging effects of climate change – such as Bangladesh, India and Ecuador.

“Education for all is a human right, and education about a crisis that is currently upon us and will affect each and every one of us is also a right,” said Aishwarya Puttur, from Teach the Teacher.

“Climate change education should no longer be a privilege, but rather something that is available to all.

“It must be one that includes the intersections of the climate crisis, states scientific facts as it is, has frontline defenders and marginalised people’s voices heard and explains how we can make sustainable changes and take action.”

A new global study into the effects of the climate crisis on the mental health of young people found nearly half feel worry about the issues negatively affects their daily life.

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