• Mary Glasby (UKSCN)

Why Classism and Educational Failure Go Hand in Hand

Our education system is messed up, to put it politely. It's as simple as that. Currently, the more privileged kids go off to uni and are coerced and spoon-fed the knowledge to further vandalise and exploit our planet. The not so privileged kids leave school without even knowing what climate change is, how it’s going to affect us, or how to put a stop to it. The teachers and lecturers who do care about the planet and do try to teach the future face a massive headwind from the system, making it an almost impossible task. I don’t know about you, but I think there is something seriously wrong here.

As a young person growing up in Birmingham, I have seen and experienced first-hand the consequences of austerity. We, the working class children, have faced enough injustice as it is, but hiding the fact that you have ruined our planet from us, and concealing the knowledge we need to fix it? That is low. It seems as though you are actively trying to ruin our futures even more than you already have. Do you not think we have enough to deal with in our daily lives, without having to worry about the state of the planet?  Do you not think we have enough on our hands, juggling school and jobs and getting a meal on the table, without having to educate ourselves on climate change as well? Do you not think we are at enough of a disadvantage already from this society that is hellbent on short term profit? The society that has crushed our ambitions and ruined our dreams?

We do not have the time, the resources or the support to educate ourselves on the climate crisis, yet this is something that is perhaps going to affect us the most. At the moment, climate change is barely mentioned at school, but it is something that is going to affect all aspects of our lives, so we need to see it in all aspects of education. How are we supposed to grow up in this crisis, adapt to it and resolve it if you won’t teach us anything about it in school? How are we supposed to clear up this mess you have made if you won't even tell us the truth? 

I speak for the working class when I say: we are tired of injustice, austerity and lies. We want an education that will prepare us for the future, and we want you to tell us the truth. Our futures already look less promising than our middle class friends, but we will not let you add your fuel to the fire. We will not stand by and watch you ruin our planet and our futures any more. We stand for climate justice and it must start with education.

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Teach the Future is a youth-led campaign to urgently repurpose the entire education system around the climate emergency and ecological crisis.
The English campaign is run by two organisations, UKSCN and SOS-UK.

The Scottish campaign is run by two organisations, SYCS and NUS Scotland.

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