CORK County Council has teamed up with social enterprise Education for Sustainability to deliver a 10-week climate literacy course to eight secondary schools in the county, including three in West Cork.
The weekly interactive course sessions are solution focused, encouraging students to learn through game-based activities.
The programme encourages students to connect the dots between the environment and their everyday lives by providing workshops, teacher training, teaching resources and lesson plans.
Topics covered include climate change, sustainable development, climate justice, plastic pollution, fast fashion, biodiversity loss, sustainable transport, food, soil and taking action.
Welcoming the initiative, county mayor Danny Collins(Ind) said: 'I am very pleased to see this programme being rolled out to students in Cork county. Education is the key to change and our young people are serious about the environment, they can drive real change when it comes to environmental matters and sustainability. Well done to each of the schools participating.'
The participating schools are Bandon Grammar, Carrigaline Community School, CBS Middleton, Edmund Rice College Carrigaline, Scoil Mhuire Béal Átha'n Ghaorthaidh, St Mary’s Charleville, St Mary’s Middleton and Kinsale Community School.
Chief executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey said that they are proud to offer the initiative. 'Working with these eight schools, the course will reach 11 teachers and 202 students in Cork county,' he said. 'The programme facilitates teacher training so that they are empowered to teach the course with new groups of students making the course delivery sustainable in itself.'
Diane O’Shea from Kinsale Community School outlined the benefits of the course, saying that it has been interactive, informative and enjoyable for students.
'It has provided them with the opportunity to engage with a range of environmental issues from fast fashion to biodiversity,' she said. 'It has provided the students with the knowledge to enable them to make informed and responsible decisions with regard to actions that may affect our climate. It is imperative that our young people are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to tackle the environmental challenges of the 21st century.
'This course has provided our young people with the opportunity to think critically about environmental issues. I believe that it is essential to develop students' capacity to think critically about environmental issues in order to reduce eco-anxiety and develop a culture of agency and empowerment.'
Funded by Cork County Council, the course is delivered by Education for Sustainability, a non-profit social enterprise working to increase climate literacy and foster behaviour change in Ireland.