Flemish government launches a teaching package on animal welfare: “Making children aware of the needs of animals”

The Flemish government is launching the “Eye to eye” teaching package, which revolves around animal welfare. Flemish Minister of Education and Animal Welfare Ben Weyts (N-VA) presented the package in a primary school in Heverlee and states that the aim is “to make children aware of the needs of animals and of the responsibilities of humans as animal owners and consumers. ”. Material has been made available for nursery, primary and secondary education.

Education and animal welfare, two of Weyt’s competences, merge in the “Eye to Eye” project. The curriculum offers material on animal welfare to teachers of kindergarten, primary and secondary education.

“Informing, sensitizing and empowering”

“Informing, sensitizing and making people responsible are the spearheads of my policy on animal welfare,” Weyts said in a press release. “With this curriculum we start at a young age in a substantiated way.”

“Children and young people are the potential animal owners and consumers of animal products of today and tomorrow. It is important to involve them in animal welfare as early as possible and to make them aware of the responsibility that they themselves can take in dealing with animals. ”

(Animal shelters now receive more than a million euros per year: the 3 spearheads.)

At the request of teachers

The Flemish government states that teachers have been asking for material on animal welfare for some time. “Animal welfare can evoke strong emotions and ethical questions are never far away,” says Weyts. “With ‘Eye to eye’, we offer teachers tools to provide objective information to students on the one hand, and to create an open and critical atmosphere on the other. In this way, students can build up knowledge, but they also learn to form their own opinion and then argue it. ”

(Zoo puts parrots in isolation after scolding visitors.)

Broader view of animal welfare in the classroom

The teaching material was developed by Djapo, an educational organization that supports education in working on sustainability themes.

Ellie Lefèvre, coordinator of Djapo, says in the press release: “In each theme a learning path is built up on the basis of objectives per age group that match the learning outcomes. The theme of animal welfare is the starting point for all ages. ”

“Based on the” Five Freedoms of Animals, “students discover what animal welfare means, why taking good care of animals is important and what role humans play in it. They also see that humans and animals are inextricably linked as part of a greater whole. ”

“In the theme of companion animals, the students realize that bringing a companion animal into the home is a conscious choice, which also involves responsibilities and consequences.”

(Service dogs traumatized by fireworks every year.)

Five Animal Freedoms

“Eye to eye” examines five sub-themes: animal welfare, companion animals, farm animals, laboratory animals and exotic animals. The teaching material is launched in phases. The material on the themes “animal welfare” and “companion animals” for nursery and primary education is currently available at Lessons on the other themes and for secondary education will be completed in three series between now and the spring of 2023.

(Largest group of washed up animals ever in Tasmania: 380 whales do not survive.)

“Eye to Eye” song

“In addition to the teaching material, a cheerful ‘Eye to eye’ song for toddlers was also developed in collaboration with Het Geluidshuis,” Weyts continues. “Primary school teachers can then order a class calendar with fun facts, tips and small assignments.”

“This way, animal welfare can live in the classroom all year round. Teachers who want to get more tools to get started on animal welfare in a high-performance way can also follow a webinar for free on 3 November or watch it again later. ”


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