MUT’s Nature Conservation department trains local schoolteachers on how to look after the environment

Sithembile Nkosi, seated, right, with Ndukwenhle teachers and ERR members in 2023

To ensure that the message of looking after the environment so the environment will be able to look after humanity, the Department of Nature Conservation has decided to run a workshop for the teachers of Ndukwenhle High School, Umlazi Township.

Sithembile Nkosi, a Lecturer in the department, said the objective of the workshop was to introduce the teachers to ERR (Ecosystems Rehabilitation and Restoration), and to outline the work that would unfold in 2024 for the two schools involved in the project. “Furthermore, it will be an opportunity to map a way forward on how the ERR work can be incorporated into the curriculum. There will be other workshops for teachers in the year that will be organised to support them on their involvement with environmental management in their schools,” said Nkosi. Nkosi said the teachers would be project leaders to ensure the success of the project. “Last year we worked with this school, which is one of the schools that received a 100% pass rate for their grade 12 class of 2023. However, with the challenges of time and other unforeseen circumstances, the teachers were unable to fully support their learners in the absence of an ERR facilitator,” she said.

Nkosi said the motivation for choosing the Ndukwenhle High School is that it has a wetland ecosystem, as well as terrestrial ecosystems. Nkosi said that they would include grade 11 in the project because there is a specific chapter that covers wetlands in their curriculum.  Last year, they worked with Ndukwenhle’s Grade 10 only who were doing Life Sciences, Geography, and Life Orientation subjects. Nkosi said working with the learners would assist both the learners and the teachers to better understand the connection between the theoretical and practical parts of the subjects.