Prioritise STEM over fossil fuels, parents say

Tuesday, 20 July, 2021

Prioritise STEM over fossil fuels, parents say

According to Australian parents, STEM skills are needed to support the jobs of the future in the clean energy industry.

This comes as a review of the national curriculum, which is currently open for public consultation, received a submission from Australia’s chief fossil fuels lobby group — the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA).

Australian Parents for Climate Action (AP4CA) has said that the curriculum must be protected from fossil fuel lobby groups.

AP4CA welcomes revisions proposed by The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) to the National School Curriculum’s existing sustainability cross-curriculum priority, which highlight the impact of human behaviour on climate change and the potential for human innovation to ensure a safe climate for future generations.

“We are deeply disturbed by news that mining companies are seeking to derail ACARA’s review by lobbying for a science curriculum that glorifies fossil fuels — a heavily subsidised industry that is entirely incompatible with a safe climate future,” said Nic Seton, CEO of Australian Parents for Climate Action.

“Our national curriculum must serve the interests of the next generation, not fossil fuel mining companies. Teaching children to glorify fossil fuels is akin to telling them that the world is flat: it is dangerous and it is embarrassing.

“The draft curriculum goes some way towards educating and empowering students and their families to take positive climate action. There is scope to better articulate the implementation of this cross-curriculum priority.”

“As parents, it is crucial for our schools to lead in educating and preparing students to adapt and survive in a changing climate, which will be the defining issue for generations,” said Siobhan O’Leary, mother of two from Sydney.

“The rightful place for lessons on fossil fuels is in history class. Our children need STEM skills for the clean energy jobs of the future; to survive and thrive in the rapidly decarbonising global economy.”

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