Italy is to become the first country to make climate change and sustainability lessons compulsory for schoolchildren.
Beginning in September 2020, all students will receive 33 hours a year of lessons on climate change and environmental sustainability, which is about one hour per school week.
In an announcement made earlier this week, Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti said: “The entire ministry is being changed to make sustainability and climate the centre of the education model.
“I want to make the Italian education system the first education system that puts the environment and society at the core of everything we learn in school.”
Traditional subjects, such as geography, mathematics and physics, will also be studied from the perspective of sustainable development, said the former university economics professor.
The curriculum will be created with the help of environmental experts and will teach students the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The educational style will vary depending on their age group.
Lorenzo Fioramonti is considering a “fairy-tale” model to teach children aged 6 to 11, meaning stories from various cultures will be taught, emphasising their environmental connection. Middle school children will be taught more technical information, and high schoolers will get an in-depth education on the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Last September, Lorenzo Fioramonti encouraged Italian students to skip school and participate in the global climate strikes. Fioramonti believed the absences were reasonable because students’ lives are “threatened by environmental devastation and an unsustainable economic development”.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com