Youth Climate Change Initiative Urges Government of Liberia to Embark on Compulsory Climate Education
Monrovia – The Youth Climate Change Initiative –Liberia is calling on the Government of Liberia to join its campaign as they embark on a compulsory Climate Education in every institution of learning.
The campaign seeks to encourage decision makers to see the need in making climate change and climate literacy a core feature of school curriculum across the country which will ensure that all students receive quality, wide-ranging, climate education every grade levels and disciplines in Liberia.
“Education is an essential element of the global response to climate change. It helps young people understand and address the impact of global warming, encourages changes in their attitudes and behaviour and helps them adapt to climate change-related trends” Edwin C. Mends-Cole, YCCI Acting Executive Director lamented.
Speaking further, “The campaign aims at making climate change education more central and visible part of the national response to climate change. The programme intend to help students understand the impact of global warming today and increase climate literacy among young people”.
Mr Mends-Cole said, the campaign will also launch a training to strengthen the capacity of school’s administrators, teachers, and other organizations into climate change for the provision of quality climate change education to those they mentor; encouraging innovative teaching approaches to integrate climate change education in school and by raising awareness about climate change as well as enhancing non-formal education programmes through media, networking and partnerships.
The Liberian youth organization recognizes the scientific consensus that global climate change is largely caused by human activity, resulting in significant, measureable damage to the earth and its inhabitants. They believes that humans must take immediate steps to change activities that contribute to global climate change and continue-development and implementation of environmentally sound practices that abate global climate change and its effects in partnership with the global community.
“We believe the campaign is a critical step to bridge a cavernous gap in society’s response to humanity’s greatest existential challenge. While it is true we need to better educate our children and youth on the science and the risks, we are at the same time excited of building a better world; generating more good jobs in sustainable businesses and the benefits of being greener consumers and more active citizens” Mends-Cole said .
For his part, David Edwards, the General Secretary of Education International, the largest federation of teachers’ trades unions, said, Climate change is the most important issue humanity faces today.
“Climate education can also help foster a new generation of citizens with the interest and the skills needed for jobs in a growing green economy, to make better, sustainable consumer choices and to hold governments — both national and local — accountable for their decisions”, Edwards mentioned.”
In 2019, the University of Liberia with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA) and other government ministries officially, launched its School of Environmental Studies and Climate Change, with plans to introduce a Ph.D. program in five years. The launched School now offers a Masters in Environmental Science and Climate Change, a Masters of Arts in Environmental Management, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies.
“We see the launching of the Environmental Studies and Climate Change at the State-run University as a giant step that associates itself to the call we are making on climate change education in all schools across the country. However, we are hopeful that this Government will see the need to introduce the “Compulsory Climate Education” in grade schools as climate education falls under Article 12 of the Agreement known as Action for Climate Empowerment.