Hero of the Week: Italy’s Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti

Photo: Remo Casilli, Reuters

This week Italy got an A+ — thanks to its education minister, Lorenzo Fioramonti, who announced that starting next year all schools and students in all grades in Italy will be required to spend 33 hours per year, almost one hour per school week, teaching students about climate change issues.  It will also be woven into the curriculum of many of the traditional subjects, such as geography, math, and physics, and students will also study sustainable development.  Fioramonti is a former economics professor at South Africa’s Pretoria University, who is a very vocal supporter within the government for green policies.  He also was outspoken about allowing students to miss school to attend Friday climate strikes.

  • “The entire ministry is being changed to make sustainability and climate the center of the education model,” Fioramonti explained to Reuters.
  • He went on to say “I want to make the Italian education system the first education system that puts the environment and society at the core of everything we learn in school,” calling it a “trojan horse” that will infiltrate every subject.
  • Geography, for example, will be more than just names and places on a map — students will also study the impact of human actions on different parts of the planet, too, he said.
  • Mr. Fioramonti said that every country needed to do its part to stop the “Trumps of the world” and that his desire is to show children a different path.
  • “The 21st century citizen,” he told The New York Times, “must be a sustainable citizen.”

We salute his leadership and progressive thinking about educating future generations so that they will be prepared to deal with the world they inherit from us. We only hope that more states and school systems in the U.S. will do the same very soon.

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