Soon, young students in the UK will be able to pick a focused course on protecting the planet. GCSE or General Certificates of Secondary Education is the education qualification for UK school children, ages 15 to 16, in year 11. Every student is required to get a GCSE in Maths, English, and Science, but they can also select from a wide range of subjects to complete their qualifications.
Climate problems were already covered in Geography classes, but there wasn’t a focus on the said crucial topic. However, this will soon change as students can now get into a GCSE concerned about the planet and how we can protect it before it’s too late.
The new course will go beyond urbanization in geography and habitats in science. It will teach kids about the history of various species and how big humans impact the environment.
Nadhim Zahawi, Education Secretary of the UK, will make an official announcement regarding the climate-focused GCSE later on April 21. However, it will not be available for another three years – around September 2025. This means students won’t be able to add it to their qualifications just yet.
According to Zahawi, sustainability and climate change are two of the biggest challenges humans face right now, and there is no question about how problematic it has become. The new climate GCSE will offer the youth an opportunity to develop skills and understanding of this beloved planet, its precious environment, and how best to protect it.
Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy
Adding the planet-centered natural history GCSE is part of the Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy implemented by the UK’s Department of Education. The agency first revealed the strategy at the COP26 event, the United Nations’ annual conference focusing on climate change, last 2021 in Glasgow. It revolves around putting climate change at the “heart of education.”
Aside from the GCSE on planet-related issues, several new initiatives were introduced – including Climate Leaders Award and National Education Nature Park. Climate Leaders Award is an annual effort to honor young individuals who contribute to biodiversity and environmental advancement in their respective communities.
It will feature an awarding similar to the Duke of Edinburgh style. National Education Nature Park, on the other hand, is a virtual database that helps kids learn about the vibrant wildlife and develop useful biodiversity skills.
The government promised to work closely with numerous experts, organizations, and exam boards to develop the content of the new GCSE. Worth noting from the exam boards are Cambridge OCR and Ofqual.