On Tuvalu, the passing rate for primary education is only 37 percent. This is, however, not reflected in these Tuvaluan childrens awareness level when it comes to climate change.
A couple of weeks ago, we held a workshop on climate change for a group of 12-13 year old school children in the school of the Seventh Adventist Church. The 32 children were amazingly fun to work with and after some brainstorming on the board; we parted them into groups that worked on one topic each. The topics were taken out of the discussion and were: Water shortage, Natural Disasters, Motorbikes (emission reduction), Rubbish and Sea-level rise.
Though the Seventh Adventist Church doesn’t have a special focus on climate change in the curriculum, some of the children’s reflections were remarkable.
One girl had a fantastic reflection on sea-level rise, which I unfortunately didn’t write down – but it was something like this:
Sea-level rise might cause that Tuvalu becomes under the sea. Not now, but maybe in thirty or fifty years. Some people say that Tuvalu will not become under the sea. They say that when the sea rises, Tuvalu will rise as well.
Another girl refused use more sheets of paper than the poster in itself (like drawing on paper and stick it on the poster – to make sure that you don’t make mistakes on the poster), because she didn’t want to waste paper (she was from the water shortage group).
A boy said that he wanted every family to plant at least one tree each, to prevent coastal erosion.
Here are some of the notes from the brainstorming:
What do you think of when you think about Tuvalu?
Tuvalu has nine islands
Funafuti is the capital
Tuvalu has no mountain
Tuvalu is an island near equator
Tuvalu has no factories
Tuvalu is a small island.
Tuvalu has no river
Tuvalu has a lot of fish
If there are no foods in the shop, we can eat pandanus, banana or coconut
Tuvalu has eight different languages and cultures
Tuvalu has many tsunami warnings
What do you think of when you hear the words climate change?
Increasing sun heat
Sometimes rain is falling, sometimes there is no rain
Soon Tuvalu is going to be under the sea
The water is around us
Changing of days and weather
The level of the water is going up
The sun is very hot
Ice is getting melted
Changing of natural disasters
Climate change and King Tides
Trees fall down
Carbon dioxide – car and bicycle
Change in the atmospheric conditions
Artic is melting