Seven Gibraltar teachers have successfully attended the UN Climate Change Teacher Academy in association with the One United Nations Climate Change Learning Partnership. As accredited Climate Change Teachers, they can now deliver up-to-date climate change lessons to all pupils and will be able to encourage and generate social innovation, and prepare today’s youth to protect the planet.
Being amongst the first international teachers to gain accreditation, Bayside, Westside and St Bernard’s Upper Primary Schools have been marked on the teachers’ Climate Change World map of the United Nations. They will be working alongside 80 international schools in an initial trial of the course. This will cover topics including climate change science, gender and the environment, children and climate change, cities and climate change, and human health. The programme will eventually be made available to all schools across the UK with lessons expected to be delivered in the classroom as from this academic year.
The accreditation, which comes under the umbrella of the ClimACT Schools Gibraltar initiative, comes at a perfect time in Gibraltar’s education revolution.
ClimACT Schools is a movement that started nearly 5 years ago by the European-funded ClimACT project, managed locally by the University of Gibraltar. The SUDOE funded project ceased last June but was reborn as ClimACT Schools Gibraltar, a collaborative initiative involving teachers from all local schools, the Department of Education, the University of Gibraltar, the Department of the Environment, Sustainability, Climate Change and Heritage, and local NGOs.
ClimACT Schools empowers teachers and is endeavouring to teach our children about sustainable practices in relation to climate change and the conservation of our natural environment. So far, schools have implemented numerous initiatives that have affected the ethos of Gibraltar’s schools, including recycling, reduction of paper, plastic and general waste, the use of reusable water bottles, the reuse of art resources, understanding sustainable food production and the introduction of traffic free days.
This year students will focus on waste reduction and will aim to influence adults to change their ways. Schools are also looking forward to working with the Advanced Leadership Foundation later this term on a second ‘environmentathon’ Project Based Learning on traffic reduction, aiming to find real-life-solutions to real-life problems.
Minister for Education, the Hon Gilbert Licudi, said: “As the world wakes up to the reality of climate change, Gibraltar’s schools are leading by example. Having seven teachers accredited by the UN Climate Change Teacher Academy shows how seriously we are taking this issue. Through the ClimACT Schools Gibraltar initiative, our children are demonstrating that this is not just something that we should talk about. Project based learning and other actions are already making a real difference to improve our society. Our children and the work that teachers are doing in this area should be commended and encouraged.”