Education International
Education International

Canada: National green schools programme launched

published 19 September 2011 updated 28 September 2011

The Canadian Teachers' Federation is supporting the launch of a new green high schools programme to encourage secondary students to create environmental projects while exploring the wealth of environmental career opportunities available.

The programme was launched by ECO Canada, a non-profit organisation, to look at ways to address a skilled labour shortage in the environmental sector and to provide career opportunities for the next generation of graduates.

A recent study produced by Harris/Decima reports a 56 per cent of secondary students are more than ready to join the ranks of Canada’s environmental professionals, however, 51 per cent of those surveyed are unsure of the types of  career opportunities that are available. The Green High Schools programme attempts to fill this gap by connecting environmental education with career exploration.

Students will be expected to research post-secondary programmes and career opportunities as they engage in activities that enhance environment, communicate about the environment, and demonstrate the sustainable use of resources.

The pilot programme is limited to 50 schools. Participating students, educators, and schools will receive national recognition for their efforts, including a chance to receive a school profile on the ECO Canada website.

EI warmly welcomes this initiative and invites Canadian teachers to get involved. This programme relates to the resolution on 'Education unions mobilising on climate change', which was adopted at EI’s Sixth World Congress in Cape Town.

This resolution stresses 'members of national education unions have an important role to play in educating students about the causes and the effects of climate change, as well as the necessary structural changes for the transition to a low greenhouse-gas production and distribution systems. Additionally, they can also aid in implementing carbon emission reduction measures in education institutions, particularly in the more energy-use intensive higher education and research sectors'.

It also reasserts EI's support 'to global campaigns and initiatives by international trade union bodies and intergovernmental organisations to promote a transition to industries based on renewable energy produced at local level, creating environmentally and socially sustainable jobs with fair, equitable and just working conditions'.

For more information on the Canadian programme visit www.eco.ca/greenhighschools.

To read the full EI resolution on 'Education unions mobilising on climate change' please click here.