Minister of Education Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine is calling for the elevation of climate and environmental literacy in the national curriculum. The Education Minister is of the view that this is key to the development of a population, which is in harmony with President David Granger’s vision of developing a ‘Green Guyana.’
Addressing the National Teachers’ Award Ceremony at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) today, Minister Roopnaraine told educators that, “We will only green Guyana if we green our classrooms.”
The Education Minister pointed out, that in order to achieve green classrooms, there needs to be curriculum reform. “We have to elevate climate and environmental literacy, in our curriculum…some work is being done of this I am assured, but I believe that we need to give climate change education a more central place in our teaching, because it is only there, right at the beginning, that we are going to in effect develop a population that is in harmony with what it is that we are attempting to do,” he said.
He noted that in greening the classroom, Guyana can employ similar measures being used by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). “We can do this is by encouraging innovative teaching approaches that would integrate climate change into the school,” he said.
The Minister also stressed the need to enhance non formal education programmes, in this quest. “…we need to build networks, need to build partnership, we need to understand the work of greening the classrooms and green Guyana is going to be the most important work that we can do for the years to come,” he said.
The Minister also pointed to some recent effort to make climate change education more visible and a central part in the global response to climate change. This includes UNESCO’s recently launched programmes for climate change education and for sustainable development and the recently held COP21 conference in Paris to review the adoption of the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
“Environment is on people’s mind and quite rightly, because you know we are in danger of destroying the planet, that is something that our population and our people at this stage need to be aware of,” the Minister said, and reiterated the need to “enhance and intensify the programme in the classroom, to increase climate literacy among young people.” (GINA)