Dubai: Awareness of climate change and how to help save the environment will soon be taught in classrooms across the UAE, authorities announced on Saturday.
Under plans to tweak school curriculums to include learning on sustainability, schoolchildren will also be shown how to take energy-saving measures. These include schoolchildren of all ages, including in private sector schools, learning the importance of turning off lights and air-conditioning when not in use, and how to use less water.
Each pupil will also be encouraged to spread the message to their family and friends.
One of these initiatives, called Sustainable Schools, is an extension of a programme that started in Abu Dhabi in 2009.
The ministry acquired its new name at the UAE Cabinet reshuffle in February, in a move intended to reflect the government’s focus on tackling climate change.
On Saturday, the minister inked a deal in Dubai with the Ministry of Education and the Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi. Under the terms, the three government bodies will work together to introduce the sustainability programmes and green curriculum in every school.
The sustainable curriculum will be applied across several subjects, such as economics and science. A group of government and private schools across the country will be part of a pilot scheme that will start next year, Al Zeyoudi said.
If successful, all schools across the country will adopt the initiatives.
Schoolchildren will also be taught about the UAE’s efforts to combat climate change, such as the Paris Agreement, which it signed in April along with 192 other states.
“Some of the main challenges that we’re facing — waste management, [use of] chemical pesticides, the safety of foods — these all are going to be part of the curriculum,” the minister told Gulf News.
“For sure, water is going to have a big chunk of the focus because of the scarcity of water in this region,” he added.