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During a “Teach for the Planet” initiative organised by the Bureau for Development of Education with the support of UNICEF to mark Earth Day, 1,160 teachers and 34,304 students participated in learning activities on climate change and climate action. The learning activities included teaching materials and a quiz where all children showed their readiness to get involved in local climate action.

The quiz results highlight that children and young people are optimistic when it comes to tackling climate change.  Almost all – 93 per cent – answered that they can do something to tackle climate change and that they would personally contribute by reducing waste generation, encouraging their friends to do the same, and talking to their parents to be more environmentally conscious and responsible.

“Globally, we have witnessed the power of young people demanding more climate action and environmental education and this is important so that young people from this country can lead national initiatives,” said Patrizia DiGiovanni, UNICEF Representative. “The response to the quiz shows that children and young people are ready to lead action and we must create the space to listen to them and opportunities for them to get involved.”

Other responses to the quiz also highlighted that children and young people need more opportunities to learn about the difference between air pollution and climate change and about the major causes of climate change.

“This initiative was really useful for us teachers and of course for the students. We gained new and interesting information about climate change, and students in an interactive way were encouraged to actively contribute to environmental protection and tackling climate change,” said Tatjana Anakieva, a teacher from primary school “Koco Racin, Municipality of Vinica.

“The kids really had fun and are very motivated to do something about climate change. I think that such learning material should be an integral part of the education and learning process,” said Renata Brezovska teacher from primary school “Petar Pop Arsov” Municipality of Karposh.

The “Teach for planet” initiative is part of a UNICEF-supported Environmental and Climate Change Education Programme funded by the support of the Swedish International Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The 3-year programme is an inter-sectoral effort to advance environmental education for future generations. It aims to build foundations of a system that offers children the knowledge, competencies and opportunities to understand, care for and protect their environment as active agents against the detrimental effects of climate change.