25 signatures reached
To: The Board at Kapiti College
Better climate education for our tamariki
Dear Tony and the Board at Kapiti College
We are writing this collective letter to you and the Board as a group of parents of students currently attending Kapiti College on the Kapiti Coast, Wellington.
We ask you and the Board to urgently give much greater priority to supporting our children to learn and do more about climate change. We also offer any support we can that could assist KC in developing and adopting a much more climate-aware educational experience for its students. Whether in lobbying the MoE for new teacher guides and curricula, or helping to find guest speakers, exploring our networks for technical support or even helping in fund raising if budgets become a major impediment, we are ready to do what we can if KC takes the lead.
We look forward to hearing from you on this issue and would be ready to come to the college at any stage to discuss further with you if that would help.
Why is this important?
We trust that you will share our view that climate change is the single biggest and most significant (and potentially dangerous) global phenomenon that will impact on the lives not only of our children but also of their generation around that planet. It is the issue of our times and, although it comes much too late, we are relieved that at last global and local awareness of this becomes increasingly pronounced. We commend the efforts of the recent youth demonstrations to voice their concerns and appreciate any encouragement that KC has given for students to participate.
It therefore seems particularly concerning (and surprising) to see how little global warming and climate change features in the education that our children are currently receiving at KC. We understand that inclusion of a stand-alone module on the issue is optional, but that for now it is not available for any age group. Furthermore, with one or two exceptions, it also seems that there is currently little opportunity taken to embrace it as a cross-curricular issue.
This last point is particularly worrying, since the process of climate change could so easily be incorporated into teaching across so many subjects - whether biology, chemistry, physics, ESS, maths or indeed film-making, drama or dance! Furthermore, outside of the relatively small extra-curricula Eco-Action group , we are not aware of any initiatives being taken by the college institutionally to promote behaviour or initiatives to support reductions in carbon-emissions – whether around car-pooling, encouraging more cyclists, carbon-sequestration schemes, renewable energy installations, or indeed on how to undertake effective lobbying and advocacy.
We acknowledge and respect that the teaching body is under strong parent-led (and market-led) pressures to focus on maximising examination success and that there is little room to introduce much more to what is already a very full and demanding work load for teachers. We are also informed (although again with surprise) that the Ministry of Education is not currently supplying KC with the necessary relevant and updated teaching guides and educational materials that could be used either for stand alone climate change modules or for helping the subject be introduced as a cross-cutting theme across all subjects.
However, we do feel that these constraints could – and should - be overcome.
How it will be delivered
We plan on sending the letter, with signatures, and possibly staging a press conference.