I'm Anna Budzynska and I teach Geography teacher Geography teacher Geography. Not in my wildest dreams did I expect one of my pupils to start changing the world whilst they were still in the classroom, but Esha Marwaha is no ordinary 15-year-old...
The Year 11 student from Hounslow has been motivated by proposed changes to the Geography national curriculum to set up a petition, blog for The Guardian, appear in a YouTube video - and turn up on the doorstep of the Department of Education hassling ministers to listen to her.
Esha is concerned that Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove, and the Department for Education are planning to remove climate change from the Geography curriculum for Key Stages 1-3 (children up to the age of 14).
Esha’s petition has so far attracted over 30,000 signatures and last month she took part in a joint hand-in of petitions with over 65,000 signatures.
Although the Department for Education stated in April that climate change is specifically mentioned in the science curriculum, MPs Ed Davey and Luciana Berger are the most recent high-profile names to express concern about climate change being left out of the Geography curriculum.
Making the world a better place
As a Geography teacher, I see my job as being more than helping students get good exam results. I am passionate about my subject and want to pass on that enthusiasm to my students. Teaching students about the issues facing today’s world can mean that they grow up to be responsible citizens and - with a bit of luck - do something to make the world a better place.
How can one of the most serious issues facing the planet not even make it onto the list of essential topics for students to learn in school? Climate change will not only affect future generations, but is already impacting on the lives of millions of people across the world.
Unsurprisingly, it is people who are the most vulnerable to - and the least responsible for - climate change that are already feeling the worst effects of changing weather patterns. A recent article in The Guardian highlighted how climate change is behind growing food shortages and the resulting political instability in less economically developed countries.
Failing to teach young people about such a crucial issue is irresponsible - and it destroys the best weapon that we have against climate change - education.
Act now to keep climate change in the Geography curriculum