Students Worldwide Leave Classes to Protest

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. movement / ˈmuv mənt / (n) – an activity or a series of activities hosted by a group of people working to achieve a goal

    The animal rights movement held a protest against animal killings.

  2. spring from (someone/something) / sprɪŋ frəm / (phrasal) – to start from someone or something

    The idea to write a book about environmental protection sprang from the growing issue of climate change.

  3. activist / ˈæk tə vɪst / (n) – a person who supports actions that aim to make changes in society

    Hundreds of activists held a strike against unfair treatment of animals.

  4. drastically / ˈdræs tɪk li / (adv) – in an extreme or a severe manner

    The government created a new policy that will drastically reduce air pollution.

  5. turn (something) around / tɜrn əˈraʊnd / (idiom) – to make a situation successful

    The basketball team has to turn things around if they want to win the national championship.


Read the text below.

Students all over the world walked out of school to protest against their governments.

The strike, which took place last May, was the second and latest event held by the movement called Fridays for Future, which is staged and led by students on Fridays. According to reports, more than one million students from about 2,300 schools joined the strike in about 125 countries. Protesters assembled in different parts of the world, such as South Korea, New Zealand, Sweden, Australia, and the Philippines.

The movement aims to demand governments to take action against climate change. According to the protesters, many governments worldwide are not promptly implementing policies that tackle climate change. Moreover, the protest organizers are calling to improve the education system to effectively teach and inform students about the environmental crisis the world is facing.

Fridays for Future sprang from the solo protest of Swedish teenage activist, Greta Thunberg. For three weeks, Thunberg held a strike outside the Swedish parliament to call for action against climate change. As soon as her protests went viral, several students from all over the world took part in the demonstrations.

The worldwide student protests have caught the attention of world leaders. The first Fridays for Future protest prompted the United Kingdom and Germany to aim drastically reducing carbon emissions by 2050.

Because of its success, Fridays for Future is planning another protest. This time, the group invited adults to join in the efforts to turn things around. In response, several prominent people, such as a United Nations diplomat, writers, scientists, and indigenous group leaders, signed up to attend the protest to be held on September 20.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think it is reasonable for students to join the Fridays for Future movement? Why or why not?
• If a Fridays for Future protest were held in your country, would you participate in it? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• What causes/movements do you support (e.g. animal rights, veganism)? Why?
• Aside from holding protests, what other actions can you do to support a specific cause? Explain.