Young Quakers want climate crisis education
Quakers in Britain have joined education charities, unions and environmental NGOs in signing up to Teach the Future, a youth-led campaign to put the climate crisis at the heart of the education system.
They will be taking their message to parliamentarians this week (26 February).
The campaign is a joint initiative by the UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN) and Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK). They are calling for
- a review of how the formal education system in England is preparing students for the climate and ecological crisis
- a Climate Emergency Education Act
- and an endowment fund for youth-led climate action.
Supporting Teach the Future is a natural step for Quakers in Britain, whose peace education programme helps children navigate the reality of the world they live in by exploring the root causes of violence and war, developing conflict resolution skills and learning the power of speaking out for justice. Quakers work for climate justice and supported the school strikers by offering event space and joining the global climate strike last September.
This is the future we are going to be living. We deserve to be prepared for it.- Anya Nanning Ramamurthy
Eighteen-year-old Quaker activist Anya Nanning Ramamurthy, who has an active role in the youth climate strikes, said: “I feel it is so important that the younger generation is taught about climate change and the crisis we are living through. Primary and secondary education barely covers these topics.
“My A-level Geography course does cover quite a bit on climate change and humans' impact on the planet […][but] even now it's not taught as if it's an emergency, but instead just as something that's occurring. This is the future we are going to be living and we deserve to be made aware and prepared for it."
Oliver Robertson, Head of Witness and Worship for Quakers in Britain, said: “The Teach the Future campaign is much needed and we are very pleased to support it. Our vision is of a world where people and nature can thrive, and education should develop young people's skills and understanding in a way that will help them to build that world.
“The education system needs to equip young people not just to understand the world we live in and the challenges we are facing, but to support them to meet those challenges in a spirit of peace and cooperation."
Staff from Quakers in Britain will be joining Teach the Future at a Parliamentary reception for their campaign on 26 February.
- It's time for schools to teach the climate and ecological crisis. Olivia Hanks reports on Teach the Future. She is programme manager for Economics and Sustainability for Quakers in Britain.