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Students Launch Petition To Make Thorough Climate Change Lessons Compulsory In School

Claire Reid

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Students Launch Petition To Make Thorough Climate Change Lessons Compulsory In School

Four students from a school in Oxford have launched a petition to make it compulsory for schools to give pupils more thorough teaching on climate change.

The petition from the four 15-year-olds has attracted more than 45,000 signatures since it was launched last month and is urging the government to make climate change a 'core part of the national curriculum', as well as asking for schools to be run in a more sustainable fashion.

The four girls were among the thousands of students who walked out of school on 15 February to draw attention to the political inaction over climate change.

Thousands of teens took to the streets carrying banners and posters as part of the 'youth strike' last month - organisers said than more than 10,000 pupils were involved from cities and towns up and down the country, including Oxford, Manchester, Leeds, London and Glasgow.

Pupils from schools across the world have come together to take part in 'youth strikes' over climate change. Credit: PA
Pupils from schools across the world have come together to take part in 'youth strikes' over climate change. Credit: PA

In the e-petition, the school girls - Izzy Lewis, Kamila Chamcham, Rasha Alsouleman and Lucy Gibbons - from Cheney School wrote: "We are four 15-year-old school students who are deeply concerned about the damage we're doing to our planet and how it will affect our futures. Climate change is the biggest issue of our time, and it must be a part of our education if our generation is to understand it and help us to combat its effects. That's why we want climate change to be made a core part of the national curriculum.

"On Friday 15th February we walked out of school along with thousands of students throughout the UK to protest against the government's lack of action in tackling climate change. It showed society that we have a voice. We don't want to be left with flooding, wars, famine and climate breakdown just because our governments value economic growth over the well-being of our planet."

The statement goes on to say they feel they have 'barely learned about the climate crisis', despite its huge bearing on science and geography, and adds: "If young people like us are going to have any kind of future, the climate emergency must be a central, core part of our compulsory curriculum. We strongly value our education, and that's why we desperately need you to help us make a change in the way things are run."

They also suggest schools should be run sustainably and that school inspections should also check for this.

In response to the strikes and demands for climate change to be taught in schools, Steve Brace, head of education and outdoor learning from the Royal Geographical Society, issued a statement in which he pointed out that it is taught as part of the national curriculum in UK schools.

He wrote that claims climate change is a 'peripheral subtopic' in geography lessons are not true, adding: "For example, the statutory geography national curriculum requires that pupils study how our climate has changed from the ice age to the present. In addition, pupils should also understand how human and physical processes interact to influence and change landscapes, environments and the climate; and how human activity relies on effective functioning of natural systems."

You can find out more about the petition, or sign it, here.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, climate change

Claire Reid
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