IN THE Global Climate Risk Index 2019, the Philippines ranks fifth among the countries most affected by climate change in the last two decades. What do we make of this ranking?
It is incumbent upon the government to be more active and assertive in increasing the resiliency of its citizens and transforming them to become its reliable partners and enablers for sustainable development. One effective tool to realize sustainable development is through education. It is vital to cultivate in the minds of people, especially our young ones, a sustainable lifestyle and resilient character that will allow them to reach their full potential while moderately using resources and mitigating climate change.
A bill was recently filed in the House of Representatives giving the Department of Education the mandate to incorporate Sustainability and Resiliency Studies, or SRS, in the school curriculum. It is hoped that this measure prosper. The SRS shall be the fusion of sustainability, disaster resilience, and climate change education. This course, contained in modules to be incorporated in the Science, Social Studies, Values Education, and Health subjects, can help foster a culture of sustainability among the Filipino youth to empower them to be our agents in building sustainable and resilient communities all over the country.
House Bill 5946 specifies that SRS shall have “an accumulated total student contact time allotment at least one hour a week, except for Kindergarten where SRS shall be integrated in the daily learning activities.” SRS shall also be included in the training of student leaders and the student councils.
Yes, let us produce a new generation of Filipinos who value sustainable lifestyle, resilient and able to help combat climate change. Indeed, the youth is the fair hope of our country.