Italy to put sustainability and climate at heart of learning in schools

(The Guardian, 6 Nov 2019) Country will become first to make study of global heating and human influence on natural resources compulsory in state schools.

Italy is to become the first country in the world to make sustainability and climate crisis compulsory subjects for schoolchildren.

State schools will begin incorporating the UN’s 2030 agenda for sustainable development into as many subjects as possible from September, with one hour a week dedicated to themes including global heating and humans’ influence on the planet.

Other subjects, including geography, mathematics and physics, will also be taught from the perspective of sustainability, announced Lorenzo Fioramonti, Italy’s education minister.

“The entire [education] ministry is being changed to make sustainability and climate the centre of the education model,” said Fioramonti, a former economics professor who was criticised earlier this year for encouraging students to miss school to take part in climate protests.

“I want to make the Italian education system the first education system that puts the environment and society at the core of everything we learn in school.”

Fioramonti, a member of the pro-environment Five Star Movement, is the government’s most vocal supporter of green policies and has previously come under fire for proposing taxes on airline tickets, plastic and sugary foods in order to generate funds for education and welfare.

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The Guardian, 6 Nov 2019: Italy to put sustainability and climate at heart of learning in schools