Cambodia, a fast-growing yet climate-vulnerable country is pushing for better environment-related education in a bid to promote science and technology, along with tackling climatic changes by engaging students. Students in Cambodia suffer the most at the hands of climatic changes and hence are now becoming a part of effort directed towards finding pragmatic solutions to fight against climatic changes. Severity of the matter could be drawn from the fact that schools hours in Cambodia have been reduced for the second time in four years due to record heat waves during the dry season.
Cambodia, with support from the European Union, Sweden and the United Nations Development Programme, had merged climate change into an extensive earth science curriculum to be introduced at higher secondary level by 2020. Moreover, under these measures to be implemented by the Cambodian government, students from grades 10 to 12 will be learning about the factors contributing to climatic changes globally and locally in the coming years.
In addition, the Ministries of Environment and Education, had initiated an eco-school concept, which will engage both the educational officials and youngsters in different environment-related issues. Moreover, in 15 pilot schools supported by the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance (CCCA), students took advantage of additional teaching and training about the environment and worked with their teachers on numerous resilience projects including tree planting drives or climate-friendly agricultural methods.
Understanding the pertinence of education and research, six Cambodian universities were all set to merge climate change in relevant curriculum in a bid to boost climate-related research through awarding scholarships and initiating partnerships with international academic institutions.
Almost two-thirds of the Cambodian population is below 20, and hence the new generation has great potential to pave the development journey of the climate-vulnerable country. Recent studies indicate that almost 85 percent of people had a basic understanding of the causes of climatic changes and almost 98 percent identified some of its impacts. However, serious gaps were visible in relation to the measures that must be taken by the government and people to mitigate the impact of climatic changes.
According to an estimate, more than 100 million people will be pushed back into poverty over the next 15 years due to rapid climatic changes globally. Climate change is one of the major threats to societies and economies, as soaring temperatures and an increasing number of natural disasters pose serious ramifications to people’s health, global security and wellbeing of eco-system. Developing countries are suffering the most due to these changes and lack the much-needed resources, expertise and finances to implement innovative solutions and models to access climate threats, hampering their respective battles against rapid climatic changes.