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Source: Scottish Greens

Mon 26 Oct, 2020

It’s no wonder pupils are walking out of school on climate strikes when this is the importance our education agencies put on the issue Ross Greer

Climate strikers and Scottish Greens have expressed dismay after it emerged the SQA has removed the option of climate change from the list of potential topics covered in next year’s Higher Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies exam.

New modifications by the exams body have dropped five topics from the list of things that may come up in exams, leaving teachers with little incentive to include them in the curriculum.

Removed topics include morality in regards to justice, relationships, medicine, conflict and the environment, specifically “climate change, the depletion of resources and biodiversity”.

Leading members of the Scottish Youth Climate Strike movement have written to Education John Swinney asking for the decision to be reversed.

Responding, Scottish climate striker Dylan Hamilton said: “Climate education is already so limited in Scotland yet it will define our futures. How are we supposed to learn and tackle this problem if we aren’t even taught about it in school? It’s unacceptable to cut this out.”

Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer said: “What is the SQA thinking? The climate crisis represents a threat to our very existence. It’s the single biggest challenge today’s young people will collectively face in their lifetimes. It’s no wonder pupils are walking out of school on climate strikes when this is the importance our education agencies put on the issue.

“It’s particularly ludicrous for the SQA to suggest that teachers can cover the topic if they want, whilst simultaneously confirming it will not be in the end-of-year exam. This is the agency who have done the most to hold Scottish education to an outdated ‘teach to the test’ system, one which squeezes out everything not certain to be included in exams.

“As things stand, the SQA are, again, completely at odds with the basic principles of the Curriculum for Excellence. CfE was intended to empower teachers to provide young people with a broad and deep education. It is supposed to develop confident, responsible citizens. This is clearly not helped by an exams body which gives teachers and pupils no real choice at all.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom