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Air pollution and climate change education is stepped up in Warsaw schools

Air pollution and climate change education is stepped up in Warsaw schools

Some classes of primary and secondary schools received ready-to-use teaching and practice material

The Polish capital wants to become even more active in the fight against climate change – one of the most important challenges that the city is currently facing. For these efforts to be more successful, every citizen should be aware of the situation and the actions needed to protect the planet. That is why Warsaw brought education about air pollution and climate change to local schools, by arming teachers with the appropriate teaching content.

Environmental education for the youngest Warsaw residents

Last summer, the Polish Minister of Education amended the regulation on public schools curricula, by including the need to raise significant social problems such as health, legal, financial, climate and environmental protection. The changes concern primary and secondary schools and were expected to start already during the school year 2020/2021.

In this context and to support teaching professionals, the Air Protection and Climate Policy Office of the Capital City of Warsaw has prepared educational packages on air pollution and climate change. Their goal is to help students understand how these problems affect their present and future lives, to indicate the direction of necessary changes and to motivate them to act.

Teaching plans, containing ready-made lessons on air pollution and climate change, were handed over to Warsaw secondary schools and the oldest classes of primary schools. Materials for subsequent age groups are being prepared and will be successively transferred to educational institutions this year.

The materials, containing ready-made lessons, supporting materials, lists with additional resources and homework, have been designed to work regardless of the teacher's specialization. The content was agreed upon by external experts, while advisers of the Warsaw Centre for Educational and Social Innovation and Training helped with methodology. The final products were also tested in December in two of the local schools and received feedback from teachers.

Finally, last month, the University of Warsaw published a textbook titled "Climate ABC", which, according to Warsaw authorities, is the first interdisciplinary textbook on climate change in Poland. The handbook can also serve as an additional source of knowledge for both teachers and students interested in the topic of climate change.

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