Italy will become the first country to make study of global heating and human influence on natural resources compulsory in state schools. Lorenzo Fioramonti, Italy's Education Minister, announced that starting from September 2020, one hour a week will be dedicated to themes including global heating and humans’ influence on the planet. That could put Italy at the forefront of environmental education.

Public schools in Italy will be required to implement 33 hours of climate change-related lessons into their curriculum. Fioramonti said that the 33-hour-a-year lesson will be used as a pilot program to ultimately fold the climate agenda of the United Nations into the entire curriculum; “Geography courses will soon study the impact of human actions on different parts of the planet, too” he said. Fioramonti is working to put climate science and sustainability at the centre of the national education model, and sustainable development will be taught in classes such as Geography, Maths, and Physics.

The lessons initially will be taught as part of the students’ civics education, and eventually will become integrated throughout a variety of subjects. A group of experts — including Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Harvard Institute for International Development, and Kate Raworth of Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute — will act as “peer reviewers” for ministry staff preparing the curriculum.

"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 said, as “the citizens of the future need to be ready for the climate emergency.”


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