Guest blog by Esther Rumsey, member of Stroud Young Greens and co-founder of MissingEd
Earth is changing critically. The climate, biodiversity, ecosystems, culture, economy. So much is in peril, yet these prevalent and proliferating issues aren’t prioritised in the school curriculum. Surely it is common sense that these imminent threats are not only brought to the attention of the generation that is going to have to face and combat them, but strategies and hope is disseminated through our young people? And what better a way than through places of education?
But the school curriculum is almost devoid of these issues.
We need a curriculum that engages young people in universal issues like climate change and biodiversity loss and then creates discussion around combatting these threats, and which nurtures hope and love for the Earth we live on.
With COP27 happening at the moment, this problem should be predominant; what better excuse to discuss it then the upcoming Youth and Future Generations Day? With the lack of education around issues effecting the future of Earth and the young generation, our youth are not educated about and empowered to solve these problems. We need a curriculum that facilitates this and creates a sense of unifying love for Earth that will instigate more movement against the crises we face. It is our young generation’s future so why have we not got the chance to learn and feel empowered in the places we spend much of their lives learning?
This is why Stroud Young Greens have begun an initiative called MissingEd. Its aim is to provide a learning environment, discussing the topics we believe are missing from the curriculum. In our first session, we screened a film about indigenous communities and the threats they face from the oil industry. We were then very privileged to listen to professionals, speaking about Indigenous cultures. We hope this will be an environment to support young people (especially) to learn more about issues they feel passionately about and to help them amplify their voices around these subjects, beginning friendly discussions. It is our future that will be impacted the most so our education around these subjects and our empowerment and hope must be prioritised!
But why is it that Young People, like the Stroud Young Greens, are having to provide these imperative opportunities ourselves? It is the epitome of the desperate lack of this type of education in the school curriculum. Providing more climate and ecological education in the curriculum should be a priority and governments must see the perfect platform schools and places of education are to drive this change in our future!