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Creating a Resilient Generation

The skills we test at GCSE and A level appear to have nothing to do with the real challenges young people have faced this last year and will certainly not prepare them for coping with future crises such as climate breakdown. While many teenagers have become more resilient, an awful lot have suffered mental ill-health. “The human species has not evolved to sit and stare at a screen. On top of that, many couldn’t access any education because of a lack of IT equipment or internet provision.” Harry Hayfield appreciates that for teachers this past year has not been easy either. “It was particularly hard on those who had to teach children on-line as well as face to face.”

What would a Green MS hope to achieve in the Senedd? Harry believes that children progress best in places where they feel safe. “In small schools for the youngest ones, linked to their local Welsh communities.”  At GCSE other skills need to be recognised too, such as perseverance, an ability to cope with changes, helpfulness to others and understanding of the complexities of our modern world. “There are young people campaigning right now for proper education on climate change, such as the group Teach the Future.” In England a GCSE on Natural History is about to be launched. “We need that in Wales,” says Harry, “A bi-lingual GCSE that helps students of the future make informed decisions because they have the knowledge and understanding of all the issues surrounding environmental degradation.”

Unemployment among  young people is extremely high. It does nothing for their sense of self-worth. Some have described the current cohort of young people as ‘Generation Zero’. Greens aim to help young people regain a sense of purpose. “Once the worst of this pandemic is over, we need to allow young people to meet up in spaces where they can enjoy each other’s company safely, eg at festivals. We ought to help them build up their confidence through positive action. Above all, we need to listen to them, listen to their fears, their stress but also to their imaginative contributions.”


Elly Foster

Press Officer

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