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Will children be taught about veganism in schools?

Will children be taught about veganism in schools?

Image source: © canva
Anna RusakAnna Rusak,05.06.2023 14:30

Teaching about the environmental impact of meat and the clothing industry and the harmfulness of coal mining may be the future of Polish schools. Thec city of Katowice is launching a climate education programme.

What does environmental education look like in Polish schools? It is practically non-existent. Hardly surprising, since the Minister of Education himself, Przemyslaw Czarnek, is against the "ideology of environmentalism".

True, he announced the introduction of environmental education in Polish schools back in 2021, but not much has changed in this respect. Fortunately, some changes are coming. As early as September, the first climate education programme in Poland will be launched in Katowice.

Poland's first school with climate education

For the past two years, teachers in schools have been expected to raise the topics of health, climate protection and the economy during teaching hours. I probably don't need to say too much about what it usually looks like. In any case, there is no certainty that teachers are actually addressing such topics.

As reported by Wyborcza, the study conducted over the past two years by researchers from the Interdisciplinary Centre for Research on Humanistic Educationat at the University of Silesia has shown that as many as 62 per cent of the students surveyed declare that topics related to the climate crisis are not discussed at all in their schools.

This could change thanks to Katowice. From September this year, seventh-grade students in all primary schools there will be following a climate education programme.

What will climate education look like in Poland?

The lessons are to be conducted by teachers teaching different subjects even those specialising in the humanities. The teaching materials are being developed by a team of experts and will consist of educational content and lesson plans. Activists are also involved in their creation.

A Polish-language ecological footprint calculator created by volunteers from Silesia is also intended to help with the lessons, reports 'Wyborcza'. It is the first such tool in our language and anyone can use it on the website kalkulator.eco.

It allows us to see how much we are burdening the planet with our habits or behaviours. We also find out which parts of the world are more indebted to Mother Earth and which parts are less.

The full range of topics covered in the lessons is unknown. Hopefully, issues such as the environmental impact of meat and the garment industry, the need to switch to alternative energy methods, the need to divert from coal are all included in the programme. After all, these are quite important issues related to climate crisis.

We can only hope that other schools in Poland will follow Katowice's lead. Climate education in times of a deepening climate crisis is something we all really need.

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Source: Gazeta Wyborcza

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