Selected teachers and Headmasters of four schools (Tagwireyi, Sebakwe and Gutsaruzhinji Primary and Rhino Secondary school) came together at Sebakwe Conservation Education Centre in the Midlands of Zimbabwe 31st May. The schools are all involved in SCEC’s work to reduce conflict and promote sustainable relationships between local communities, wildlife and natural resources in the area.
Palloma Pachiti lead facilitator reports that – We started by exploring an important question, What is the purpose of education? Most participants came to agree that, whilst society usually qualifies a person to be educated based on the certificates they attain, it is important that as schools they produce learners who regardless of pass-rates, are able to function well in society and provide at the least, simple and practical solutions to everyday challenges.
With our focus on the environment, we also discussed how it is important for our learners to conserve because they want to not just because they are supposed to.
Each school gave a presentation on how learning takes place in their institutions, and we discussed how, with aid from new PACE resources, we can improve what we are doing to make it more relative so that learners really know how to apply what they learn to their day-to-day lives.
The teachers requested that I have a meeting at each school with all staff. This gives a perfect opportunity to involve the whole school – and start challenging the impression that Conservation, or Sustainability Education is only for teachers of more ‘outdoor education’ subjects. History, Arts and all other teachers can use the approach as much as geography and biology teachers can.
In the weeks ahead we’ll report on these meetings with teachers, community groups and the work that kids do as their practical projects take root.
Calendar of Events – moving forward.
- School Meeting with all school staff at each of the schools.
- Community meeting with community members and key leaders.
- Ongoing monthly competitions, quizzes and debates that we have handpicked from Africa Our Home. This is the Phase 1 of our project, which is packed by a lot of educational and learning activities. We will spend the whole school term doing Phase 1.
- Each School will identify an environmental issue, gather as much information about it and the Phase 2 project which we will assist them with, will be an Educational Response Project, to the issue that they will have identified.
Palloma Pachiti, Manager SCEC.