Mumbai, April 24, 2023: VIBGYOR Group of Schools, a leading chain of K-12 schools in India, recently launched Asia’s first Climate Academy at VIBGYOR High in Goregaon. The launch event, which took place on April 17th and 18th, was graced by Mr Matthew Pye – the founder of The Climate Academy, Brussels, Belgium. The objective of the programme launch was to educate and train a few selected teachers as master trainers to further educate students, parents, and fellow teachers’ communities to understand and tackle the problem of the climate crisis in India. This unique programme was launched at VIBGYOR High, Goregaon for the Academic Year 2023-24, and will be extended to other VIBGYOR schools nationwide in due course. It will be implemented throughout the academic year, providing students with ample opportunities to learn, understand and take action to tackle the climate crisis.
Over two days, a selected few teachers of the VIBGYOR Group of Schools in Mumbai participated in blended learning workshops facilitated by Mr Matthew Pye’s team. These workshops covered a range of topics such as Planetary Boundaries, a systematic approach towards climate change, and climate justice, among others. To support the learning process, a comprehensive teacher-student guide that included a curriculum designed by the Belgium team was shared. This guide provided a structured framework for students to engage with the subject matter meaningfully while enabling teachers to effectively guide their students through the programme.
Human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and industrial processes, have significantly contributed to the increase in greenhouse gases, and thus, to the exacerbation of the problem. Climate change is a complex catastrophe that poses significant threats to ecosystems, human health, and economic stability. Addressing this issue requires a global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a sustainable and low-carbon economy. By embracing a comprehensive approach to climate education, VIBGYOR hopes to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed decisions that will benefit both the environment and society.
Commenting on this unique programme, Mr Shim Mathew, Director of Academic Operations, Initiatives & International Partnerships, at VIBGYOR Group of Schools, said, “We are thrilled to have successfully launched Asia’s first Climate Academy at our school. Climate concern is one of the most critical Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, and Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, with rising temperatures, sea levels, and extreme weather events posing significant threats to our planet and society. To address this challenge, we need to take bold actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, transition to clean energy, protect natural resources, and promote sustainable lifestyles.
Recognising the need for students to comprehend the climate situation, we seized the opportunity to partner with an established Academy. We are excited to collaborate with The Climate Academy and believe that this programme will have a positive impact on our students, raising awareness about this pressing issue. By equipping our students with the necessary knowledge and skills, we hope to empower them to become active participants in building a sustainable future.”
While sharing his insights and thoughts on this historic launch – Mr Matthew Pye said “The opening of the very first Climate Academies in Asia with VIBGYOR schools is a truly exciting moment for everyone involved. The openness and ambition shown by everyone I met in Mumbai this week have been so energising. My messages home to Brussels have been full of appreciation and admiration. I respect the clarity and vision of all the staff, and I love the bright and engaged responses of all the students.”
The climate crisis is unfolding with increasing power and force. The science is clear: nations like India, and cities like Mumbai will be hit the soonest and the hardest. The Climate Academy will provide your schools with a unique systems vantage point to see the key dimensions of the situation, and it will empower them to respond with leverage.
Teaching students to think about the climate crisis in broader, more comprehensive terms will equip them with the knowledge to make a meaningful difference. This approach will empower students to become agents of change in their environments by identifying and addressing the root causes of the problem. The Climate Academy is just one step towards equipping the next generation with the knowledge and skills to tackle pressing environmental challenges and create a more sustainable and equitable future.