What Happens If The Negative Effects Of Climate Change Create Barriers To Access Education?


The negative effects of climate change are not unknown to society any longer; they are even becoming more and more tangible than ever. However, oftentimes the scope of these negative effects is underestimated as long as individuals are not directly affected by for instance losing one’s home to an extreme thunderstorm. One can say that the effects of climate change have a broad range and are truly difficult to overlook.

So let’s narrow it down a little bit and look at how climate change affects education:

The access to education is a human right, which means that every child should be able to attend school. Though, what happens if the negative effects of climate change create barriers for children to access education?

Facilities

On one hand, extreme weather conditions such as storms and heavy rainfalls can lead to school buildings to be destroyed. In such a case, education is denied to children by the lack of school facilities. On the other hand, school buildings might be used by local authorities as a shelter for families that have lost their homes to a storm.

Forced Displacement

Not only do families and their children face the threat of losing their houses and school buildings, but they might even be forced to leave their homes completely. More specifically, in the poorer regions of the world, general conditions are less resilient to such natural disasters. It is predicted that in the future, an increasing amount of families will be forcefully displaced. This in turn means for many families that they not only lose their houses, but their homes.

Performance

Due to heat-waves, school buildings may overheat. In buildings with no access to for instance air conditioning, students might in the worst case overheat and potentially collapse. Apart from that, needless to say, the concentration span of students in extreme heat may be compromised. That way, students cannot perform to the best of their abilities and may not perform well on important exams.

Income Allocation

In regions where agriculture is the main source of income, droughts or storms can have a severe impact on a family’s income. If extreme weather conditions set a limit to the abilities to perform farm, families will most likely use their remaining money for food and supplies to survive. Then, children’s ability to access education suffers from that.

These examples show the many different ways in which climate change impacts and limits children’s ability to access education. For further and more detailed information, the following articles may be useful:

https://www.pnas.org/content/116/18/8840

https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2019/05/climate-change-weaken-childrens-education-tropics/