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UAE introduces a green education strategy for schools to advance fight against climate change

  • May 15, 2023
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 UAE introduces a green education strategy for schools to advance fight against climate change

In order to boost climate education and action among young people, the Ministry of Education of the UAE has established a Green Education Partnership with UNESCO and UNICEF. This partnership will provide schools throughout the UAE with a national framework.

Before this year's COP28 summit in Dubai, the ministry will train up to 1,400 principals and 2,800 teachers in order to ensure that half of the nation's campuses and schools are "Green Accredited." 

The Minister of Education, Ahmad Al Falasi, announced the initiative in April 2023 and said that COP28 would offer a roadmap for leveraging education to advance sustainable development objectives and battle climate change.

The education sector must play a crucial role.

"At the Ministry of Education, we have a critical role to play to advance the role of education in addressing climate change, by building environment-friendly curricula and schools, and training educators to build sustainable green communities," the minister stated at a press conference.

The UN COP28 meeting will be held in the UAE from November 30 to December 12. According to Mr Al Falasi, it would present a chance to coordinate worldwide efforts to implement green education in educational institutions in the area and globally. 

Greening Communities and Schools

The program, according to the official, would focus on four main themes: greening schools, greening learning, greening capabilities, and greening communities. 

For instance, the Greening Schools initiative will give colleges and universities a framework for being greener in order to lessen their influence on the environment and encourage sustainable behavior among students and the public. By the end of the year, the ministry expects more than 70 eco-friendly campuses across the nation and 50% of UAE schools to be "Green Accredited."

As part of Greening Learning, the ministry will release manuals for the development of co-curriculum activities that focus on sustainability and are built around the development of three pillars: knowledge, skills, and values. Dr Al Shamsi noted that the new national educational framework supported by the UAE will ensure that whatever they create, they are speaking a universal language that all other educational systems can adopt.

According to Dr. Al Shamsi, master trainers will work in each school to train teachers as part of the Greening Capacities segment. Together with UNICEF, a comprehensive program has been created for the training of 2,800 teachers and 1,400 principals in UAE schools.

Cop 28's first education building

When the UAE hosted the climate summit in November 2022 at Expo City in Dubai, Dr. Al Shamsi stated that the UAE would debut the first education pavilion to appear at a Cop. The pavilion, which will be built in collaboration with UNESCO, will serve as a global platform to encourage cooperation in climate education. The building will serve as a hub for information on how the Ministry of Education has approached climate change issues and what steps may be taken to ensure its vital role in the ecosystem, the source added.

The roadmap identified environment-and-climate-friendly initiatives that the MoE aims to achieve by the start of COP28 and afterwards. For instance, the MoE will transform 50% of all the UAE’s schools and campuses to be green accredited and will provide training to more than 2,400 educators and 1,400 principals. The ministry will also launch the “Children’s Voice” initiative, under which Children Champions in the country will be offered training opportunities to exercise their right to participate in decision-making related to their environmental future. Under the “Educator’s Voice” initiative, the MoE will highlight the key role of educators in raising awareness about climate change and combating its repercussions. 

Taking a leap in this direction The Royal Grammar School, in Dubai plans to completely abandon single-use plastic by the end of 2023. Similarly, Climate literacy has been incorporated into the curriculum at the Gems Legacy School in Dubai.

Emerson which is a multinational firm is also partnering with Treedom - which encourages a culture of environmental sustainability in the United Arab Emirates to teach sustainability to schoolchildren. Emerson conducted a series of interesting discussions and activities with primary students from Le Lycée Libanais Francophone Privé Meydan, GEMS Modern Academy, and Dubai American Academy as part of its sustainability education initiatives and commitment to sustainable practices. 

COP28 will be an interesting event to be held in Dubai this year and is expected to be a milestone in the field of education and development. It will empower the next generation to become future leaders and incorporate “green” principles into their everyday lives.

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