Recover and revitalise education for Covid-19 generation

KUCHING: The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed greater disparities in education, says WWF-Malaysia.

“The pandemic has disrupted the education system, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in over 190 countries.

“The United Nations report titled Policy Brief: Education during Covid-19 and beyond also revealed that the closure of schools impacted 94 per cent of the world’s student population, up to 99 per cent in low and lower-middle-income countries,” WWF-Malaysia chief executive director Sophia Lim said in a statement last Sunday (Jan 24).

“Given that education is the main driver of progress across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), we need to ensure that what people learn is genuinely relevant to their lives and the planet’s survival.

“The pandemic is a clear manifestation of our broken relationship with nature.

“It has highlighted the deep interconnection between nature, human health, and wellbeing and how unprecedented biodiversity loss threatens both people and the planet’s health.”

Lim highlighted that the only way forward was to instil young people with greater education and values about nature.

She believed that the right education system and constant re-evaluation would be able to address future crises like Covid-19.

“With this model, it will revaluate on what, where and how we learn. It cultivates the skills, knowledge, values and attitudes that encourage learners to make informed decisions and actions on global issues such as climate change.

“ESD will empower learners to transform not only themselves but also their communities. We should take this opportunity to mainstream ESD mass scale to improve our learning system to build a world in which humans live in harmony with nature.”

Exposing students to critical thinking, and working collaboratively in making decisions would encourage future generations to anticipate better future scenarios, she added.

“The world needs better education to deal and manage with the growing concerns over a healthy planet at all levels.

“Our education should focus beyond providing basic skills and knowledge. It should encourage people to think, innovate, and propel actions for the world and humanity.

“Young people are the leaders, voters, decision-makers and consumers who will inherit the human-made system and the world from the current generation.”

Through various initiatives, Lim said WWF-Malaysia would continue to build a generation of young leaders who understand that humanity’s health depended on nature’s wellbeing.

“The problems that we create today can only be solved if we recognise it as a problem with solutions at the local and global levels.”