For people to grow and move forward as a society, we must learn. We must be educated. If we don’t do this, it is inevitable for us to remain stagnant. Now, if we could afford to stay stagnant and keep things just the way they are, this wouldn’t be an issue. But just look around. Read a newspaper. Speak to anyone. You know, we know, everybody knows – we are facing a climate emergency and an ecological crisis. Fires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, mass migration, civil war – it’s a slippery slope and we already sliding right the way down.
Given the publicity of this crisis is global, it is impossible to believe that there are still people in our society who refuse to either a) believe the crisis is happening or b) do anything about it. That’s not to say people don’t believe and aren’t doing things about it – there are a growing number of fighters, who want to see the change. The problem is, those who refuse to change, are actually those in power. The government holds the power to change industry. To change business. To change our ability to do damage to the environment. But low and behold, it isn’t the government who is passionately driving this change, because as far as they are concerned (and by they, I mean the House of Commons and Lords), this is largely a problem for the next generation. Cue – the next generation.
Joe Brindle, a 17 year old from England, founded Teach the Future, a campaign by secondary and tertiary school launched at the end of 2019, to repurpose the education systems of the world, around the climate emergency and ecological crisis. The campaign has reached England, Scotland and is in progress for Wales and Northern Ireland, each with their own subtly different actions.
Their campaign in England is made up of 3 clear actionable points:
1. A government-commissioned review into how the whole of the English formal education system is preparing students for the climate emergency and ecological crisis.
2. Inclusion of the climate emergency and ecological crisis in teacher training and a new professional teaching qualification.
3. An English Climate Emergency Education ActTeach The Future, UK
They believe these asks will bring about the necessary change to the education system. The belief and passion of the students who are behind this campaign is testament to the criticality of our ecological landscape, and how it must be addressed now. Brindle, and the larger team of students, are an example not only to other students, but to those who run our country – they have stepped up and spoken about what they need, demanding it and in so doing, highlighting that without it, we have a small chance of seeing a future that is close to the world we know today.
Teach the Future is by far one of the most important student led campaigns, of all time, for its vision is one that we need to survive and it ties in directly with SDG 4 Quality Education. Please check out their website and learn about the fantastic work Teach the Future has been carrying out.
Teach the Future Website: teachthefuture.uk/england