Terming it the “a need of the hour”, Maharashtra Environment Minister Aditya Thackeray on Monday called upon political parties to incorporate climate change as an election agenda in the coming days.
He said that if climate change indeed takes place, it would impact the people of India most as it is a thickly-populated nation and it is high time now for parties to make it part of their poll planks, as he launched a comprehensive school curriculum, ‘Majhi Vasundhara’ on environment education.
“In this hour of climate emergency, the survival of the human race on Earth entirely depends on our actions. Introducing this curriculum is our attempt at getting the next generation to start with a green thumb and be proactively involved in a pro-Earth lifestyle,” he said, as he handed over the new MV (My Earth) Curriculum to School Education Minister Prof. Varsha Gaikwad at a function here.
Gaikwad said: “Education is about helping children better interact with their environment. Through the curriculum, to be introduced in schools, we hope to prepare young minds to respect, protect and save the environment.”
The Thackeray scion also added that climate change is a critical issue, not just for Mumbai and Maharashtra, but for the whole world, and the state government will discuss the issue even with state legislators in the forthcoming Winter Session of the legislature.
Intended to inculcate climate-consciousness and green values in the gen-next right from their tender age, the state government has launched the new ‘green’ curriculum, developed by the state Department of Environment and Climate Change with UNICEF, for Class 1 to 8.
The MV Curriculum, will impart application-based awareness on issues of climate change with a balance from traditional and local knowledge with four themes: Biodiversity Conservation, Solid Waste Management and Personal & Community Health, Water Resource Management, and Energy, Air Pollution and Climate Change.
Charting a different part compared with the predominant informational learning style, the MV Curriculum will develop an understanding of the environmental ecosystem through field projects and activities, said officials.
Thackeray Jr. started tje MV for environmental conservation and protection, with a focus on all the five elements of nature known as “Panchmahabhutas” – Bhumi (land), Jal (water), Vayu (air), Agni (energy) and Sky (augmentation).
The curriculum development work was started in December 2020 by the state government, along with United Nations Children’s Fund, Maharashtra, the Regional Centre for Urban and Environmental Studies of All India Institute of Local Self Government, Mumbai, the Centre for Environment Education, Pune and other domain experts.