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We’re Not All in the Same Boat

We’re Not All in the Same Boat

Ma’ariv, Israel, January 9

The Knesset’s Education Committee recently held a discussion on the climate crisis. During the meeting, the Education Ministry presented its plan to implement a climate change curriculum. The ministry official discussed the proposed curricula, talked about launching a dedicated website, providing teacher training, and more. Among other things, the ministry’s experts sought to establish a climate division and launch a scientific committee to assist in “preparing” for the consequences of the climate crisis. However, one term was completely missing from the discussion at the Knesset: climate justice or the acknowledgment that climate change can have differing social, economic, public health, and other adverse impacts on underprivileged populations. A look at the curricula proposed by the ministry reveals that the topic has been completely overlooked. The climate crisis is an issue that students should study from different angles, including its manifestations of inequality, discrimination, and exclusion. Issues of equality and justice often don’t receive the spotlight they deserve in school curricula. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel has for many years promoted the adoption of educational content pertaining to the values of democracy, the struggle against racism, and human rights. But the Education Ministry usually takes a narrow and conservative approach to these topics and refrains from dealing with controversial issues, such as those concerning Arab society, the Israeli occupation, or racism. A discussion of the climate crisis that doesn’t mention how not all of us will be harmed by its consequences to the same extent is an empty discussion. Issues of climate justice and human rights must be included in the curriculum. This is the only way we can raise a conscious, socially involved, and influential younger generation of Israelis. The Education System needs to expose students to the truth, even when it’s inconvenient. They must know that even when it comes to the climate issue, not all of us are in the same boat. –Naomi Bait-Zoren (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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