Science

Italy making climate change courses mandatory for schools

The minister of Education, Lorenzo Fioramonti, has announced that it intends to convert to Italy the first country in the world to include the study of the climate crisis in the compulsory education and has explained, in an interview with the agency Reuters, that from September, all schools will dedicate 33 hours per year, in around an hour a week, to address the issue.

Starting next school year, schools will be required to dedicate 33 hours per year - nearly one hour per school week - to discussing the challenges of climate change, Reuters reports.

"The entire ministry is being changed to make sustainability and climate the center of the education model", Fioramonti told the news agency.

Fioramonti, 42, the writer of a few books contending total national output should never again be utilized as the fundamental proportion of nations' financial achievement, has been an objective of the conservative resistance since turning into a priest in the two-month-old administration of 5-Star and the middle left Democratic Party.

However, Fioramonti said his ministry would stand strong against the opposition.

A member of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), Fioramonti is the government's most vocal supporter of green policies and was criticised by the right-wing opposition in September for encouraging students to skip school and take part in climate protests.

The lessons, which will also teach sustainable development, will be given to pupils from first grade through high school, from the ages of six to 19 years.

One cold spring day in Milan, Salvini, then the interior minister, appeared to trivialize climate change.

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Fioramanti suggested that Salvini needed to be educated.

This, Fioramonti responded, is exactly "the kind of nonsense we want to avoid by educating children that this is the most important challenge humanity has ever faced".

"I have asked schools to consider as justified the absence of students who take part in the global mobilization against climate change", he wrote in a Facebook post at the time.

This month, Italy faced a new economic emergency when the foreign operator of a steel plant in southern Italy, Ilva, said he would retire because the Five Star-led government had chose to end criminal immunity for environmental violations, even when the company sought to clean up contaminated facilities.

An environmental activist expressed reservations that Mr. Fioramonti's plan may be too dogmatic.

Chicco Testa, president of the environmental group Assombiente, urged officials to make sure children were exposed to varied views, including those of climate-change deniers. "What the United Nations says is not a gospel".

Fioramonti said the new government, which has got off to a shaky start with weeks of bickering over the budget, 'will only last if it is courageous, ' and stops letting Salvini set the news agenda.



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