The second annual Climate Change Week kicked off its opening ceremony and Career Day at the Public School System Conference Monday amidst spring break for the schools.
“The purpose of this one-week event is to teach the youth that Climate Change is not just about sea level rise,” said National Energy Office Ben Wakefield. “It’s more broad than that.”
He added that the one-week event was also to raise awareness and enhance the general public understanding on the impacts of climate change in the Marshall Islands under the theme “Lieoeo ñan tilmeneweje lal in ad” (collaborating to sustainably invest in our islands).
Sixteen government and non-government entities who play major roles in spreading climate change awareness to the public were in action presenting to 50 students from the secondary schools of Marshall Islands High School, Life Skills Academy, Delap Seventh Day Adventist, and Assumption High School, as well as other public participants.
Laughter and giggles, followed by “Oh and Wow” could be heard echoing through the conference hall showing the reactions of the participants to the career day presentations. One booth that stood out for its style of presentation came from the International Office of Migration that gave students a chance to win a prize of school supplies or candies if students or any participants responded to a question accurately.
The Journal asked three students if they could provide feedback about the career day function.
“At first I didn’t care about climate change,” said MIHS student Cartina Henos. “After today’s career day I am eager to learn more about it.”
AHS student Mattaes Kabua told the Journal that he thought climate change wasn’t a big of a deal since he was in the states. His attitude changed after he saw a natural catastrophe with his own eyes and started to pay attention.
SDA student Cathlynn Benjamin added that the event itself was significant because she thought climate change wasn’t important. After participating in the program she felt totally wrong about her assumption.
When these students were asked if climate change should be integrated as subjects added in the curriculum that should be taught in school they all agreed because they feel it is something not emphasized enough in school only through workshops. “After acquiring important information that we gain from today’s program, climate change shouldn’t be only through climate week, but rather taught in school and our communities at a continuous pace,” said Henos.