More than 20 representatives from the Ministry of Education and various organisations dealing with climate change met in Suva today to hold a national curriculum consultation on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Education.

The meet is designed to strengthen the inclusion of Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management into Fiji’s education curriculum.

The Ministry of Education’s director Technology and Employment Skills Training (TEST), Alumeci Tuisawau said the importance and impacts of climate change and disaster risk management is a global issue that needs to be exposed to young students.

“Climate change is integrated in all subject areas now. When we started off, we were only looking at the science subjects but now with the Fiji National Curriculum Framework implemented this year, it has to go across all the subject areas. It has to be included in all the vernaculars and other subject areas,” Ms Tuisawau said.

She pointed out that this consultation, the revised curriculum integrating climate change and disaster risk management from Year 1 and 2 Basic Science and Social Science syllabus to Year 3 to 13 syllabuses for all subject areas in Fiji, will be finalized.

“From next year, we will trial this in Year 10, 11, 12 and 13, including Year 7 and 8. After the trial, the curriculum will be implemented in all schools in 2016. Curriculum development officers have revised relevant content and learning outcomes on climate change and disaster risk management across different subjects and levels.

“They also agreed on the appropriate level to introduce the key concepts. This goes in line with the curriculum framework and also with the National Climate Change Policy. We are looking at Objective 4 of the National Climate Change Policy of 2012,” Ms Tuisawau said.

The national consultations are a final step to ensure the appropriateness of the content and learning outcomes.

Ms Tuisawau said education is a mechanism that can be utilised to bridge the gap between children’s knowledge on climate change.

“There is a need to filter down knowledge on climate change to our children in a language that they can understand and that enables them to act. We need our children to be aware and to look after our environment well.

“We, at the Education Ministry, have told schools not to have incinerators to try and minimize burrning. We want our children to practice recycling and reuse methods. Children must be taught to use grass and other green waste into compost rather than burning it. We have also included green economy into the climate change perspective,” Ms Tuisawau added.