Without a doubt, one of the biggest challenges of this generation is climate change. If not proactively handled, its effects may become irreversible and catastrophic to humanity. Climate change affects all people on the planet, even if they don’t see this influence with the naked eye.
Students and other members of society try to fight climate change since they are passionate about improving the quality of their life and protecting the planet. This article briefly describes what climate change is. It also highlights its effects on students’ life and education within the global community.
About Climate Change
Climate change is a well-known term, but what is it all about? Climate change describes a long-term shift in global weather and temperature patterns resulting from natural and human activities. Since the 19th century, human activity has been the primary driver for the shift in these elements, resulting in unprecedented changes in temperature and weather patterns that adversely affect humans, animals, and plants. The main drivers of climate change are as follows.
- Burning of fossil fuels;
- Deforestation for farming and industrial activities;
- Exploration of natural resources;
- Improper disposal of harmful waste.
All these actions translate into floods, wildfires, poor air quality, and more that threaten the existence of humans, flora, and fauna.
Effect of Climate Change on Students
Climate change affects students in various ways. Below are some of the main effects of these changes on learners.
1. Makes School Buildings Unsuitable for Learning
Lecture halls and classrooms are built according to the prevailing weather and temperature conditions of each location. Weather and temperature were stable and predictable when most schools were designed and built. As such, these spaces are conducive due to adequate lighting and ventilation. However, most of these designs and buildings are becoming non-conducive due to increased flooding, drought, and heat waves.
Many schools have become unfavorable for learning due to the lack of necessary cooling or heating options to mitigate these changes. Likewise, learning institutions in poor neighborhoods do not have access to the funding that can reduce these effects. Therefore, students and their teachers are left to find ineffective ways of managing the situation. In cases of flood, entire schools become inaccessible for weeks or even months until the water level drops. Even then, damage to infrastructure and facilities makes learning highly inconvenient or even impossible.
In many countries, students choose online education because they don’t like the available educational facilities or if those are unsuitable for attending. Such students also often opt for online writing services instead of writing their own papers. When they buy a custom research paper online, they can get an example of quality writing and learn to write better, even without the help of teachers. This is also an option for those busy students who like to attend climate change conferences and protests, thus having less time for paper writing.
2. Reduces Quality of Education
When students lack the required environments to learn, it can compromise their education. Teachers and professors become unable to deliver effective instruction due to problems with classrooms, lecture halls, and teaching aids. On the other hand, learners can’t concentrate in class because the learning environment is no longer conducive. Over time, comprehension and retention decline, which reduces the quality of education students acquire.
3. Causes Malnutrition
As high temperatures, floods, heat waves, and droughts persist, food production reduces. The cost of production of foodstuffs increases. Also, parents and guardians become increasingly incapable of providing the nutrition their children need to develop and grow. As a result, many students, especially in developing countries, are becoming malnourished due to poor diets. Bad nutrition creates a cascading effect that is relevant for both children at home and in school. Ultimately, students become preoccupied with how to feed themselves instead of concentrating on education.
The risk of malnutrition to students can also lead to health problems. But you should only fill nutritional gaps with healthy eating. Malnourished students are susceptible to infections and diseases due to a decrease in the strength of their immune systems. Furthermore, floods, rising temperatures, hurricanes, and wildfires are causing serious risks to health through the propagation of waterborne illnesses, pollution, chemical hazards, and injuries. Similarly, vectors like mosquitoes and rats are on the rise and spreading diseases to more locations.
All these problems primarily affect students from low-income families and preexisting health problems. These challenges exist alongside modern health issues like poor eyesight, low concentration, insomnia, etc., that develop in students that use many gadgets while learning or relaxing.
Increases Domestic Abuse
Many children suffer from domestic abuse. However, being occupied with education reduces the frequency of violence since students spend considerable time away from their homes. As climate change makes more schools inaccessible, many children are forced to stay at home. When this happens, some students experience increased violence and abuse from their parents or relatives.
Increases Dropout Rate
As mentioned above, climate change is making many schools inaccessible for brief or extended periods of time. In addition, it is increasing the cost of acquiring an education. As a result, children and young adults who cannot access their schools due to these reasons may decide to drop out.
Climate change is a problem that can greatly affect the lives and education of students. It can make schools unsuitable for learning, and reduce the quality of education. Additionally, due to climate change and the difficulties it brings, many learners are becoming malnourished, which leads to further health issues. Furthermore, children who are unable to attend school are more likely to become victims of domestic abuse.
Finally, students unable to access their schools due to climate change problems are more likely to drop out. These issues are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to climate change affecting education. This is why all of us must concentrate our efforts on helping the planet, and ensuring a better future for our children.