COVID -19: An important opportunity to push for sustainable education and growth!

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How can sustainability issues like biodiversity, climate change and environmental protection be mainstreamed into the curriculum?
How can the new normal be used to educate students about green development?
What is the way forward for sustainability education during and beyond Covid-19?

Over the past five years, we have experienced increasingly terrifying climate changes- melting polar caps, harmful pollution levels and an ever increasing carbon footprint.

Although temporary measures have been taken time and again to fight this ‘everlasting climate pandemic’, this humanitarian crisis has been the ultimate tug to make us rethink our lifestyles and cope with the new normal.

However, recent measures to counter the COVID-19 outbreak don’t give the impression of an enduring response to climatic change instead they are directly linked to the pause in our linear economy, shutting down of entire industries and temporary closing of smoke producing factories.

In the past few months we have seen nature bounce back and it shows what happens when we give the ‘planet a break’, live more sustainably and act more consciously.

This may be enough to teach us the impact of a pandemic, but there is another change that must extend beyond this crisis.

That is, we need to educate ourselves and the oncoming generations about ‘climate change; and how effective mitigation and adaptation methods can result in a more ‘sustainable, long-lasting’ change.

For once this pandemic has demonstrated how globally interlinked we all are- that there is nothing like ‘our personal actions or isolated issues’. Oncoming generations need to be instilled with a ‘sense of community consciousness and interrelatedness’.

Our education should inspire ‘embracing of differences and how to bridge the gap between boundaries in a ‘collaborative way.’

By teaching the coming generations that their actions will not only impact those around them, but those who come after them, in turn encouraging students to ‘act more responsible’ we can successfully initiate and implement a nationwide ‘Climatic change education programme’.

Although this model of education is only finding its way, it does hold immense promise, given recent scientific studies on children’s agency through education.

These current times can be beautifully consumed with ‘green activities’ with remarkable family involvement, getting back to nature and reinforcing a ‘relationship between your kids and the environment’ which would not have been entirely possible earlier.

More so now, Covid-19 can be used as an example to educate students ‘about the don’ts’ and the repercussions if we just exist, and not co-exist.

This is definitely an opportunity that can leave a stark impression on young minds, and education must transform these challenging occurrences into lessons that generate ‘positive actions and responses’ eventually leading to a ‘brighter and better future’.