Even without the imposition of climate change, caring for the environment is a pre-requisite for survival. While many environmental issues may lie in the domain of government control, communities that are better informed about such matters are more able to adapt to catastrophic environmental events.
The education system – and specifically the SADC Care and Support for Teaching and Learning framework – offers an effective vehicle to drive a response to the very real threat of climate change and related anthropogenic impacts on the natural environment.
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) in partnership with MIET AFRICA and UNICEF, hosted the inaugural national Care and Support for Teaching and Learning (CSTL) Conference on 12-13 June 2018 in Irene, Pretoria.
More than 230 delegates ranging from CSTL policy implementers, policy makers, policy influencers, learners, and educators attended the Conference which was opened by Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga. “On our journey of a thousand miles, we are not alone…we are grateful for the support and guidance of organisations like UNICEF and MIET AFRICA, “said Motshekga.
Under the theme Consolidating our collective efforts, the purpose of the conference was to share the DBE’s framework for care and support, and provide an opportunity for partners to discuss the initiatives currently being implemented in schools within CSTL’s 10 priority areas and in the areas of partnership, multisectoral collaboration and system strengthening in support of policy implementation.
SAVE THE DATE
Inaugural Care and Support for Teaching and Learning (CSTL) Conference
Consolidating our collective efforts
12-13 June 2018, Gauteng, Venue TBC
Registration link will be shared with you in due course
Send enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
CSTL makes an impact at Blackfordby Primary School
The story of Blackfordby, a primary school in Zimbabwe, provides just one example of how the Care and Support for Teaching and Learning (CSTL) programme has impacted on a school and its community. Through CSTL, much has changed for the better at the school.
With the help of community members, the school has constructed six additional classrooms and an ECD block is nearing completion. The School Development Committee (SDC) has built Blair toilets for both boy and girl learners.
Promoting good nutrition and health
CSTL has assisted the school to establish a nutrition garden and a greenhouse. This has allowed the school to implement a feeding scheme for the ECD and Grades 1 and 2 learners, and other vulnerable learners. Fruit and vegetables produced are sold to the community and local shops,
Psychosocial support at Escola Primaria Magoanine A
Through its adoption of the Care and Support for Teaching and Learning Programme (CSTL), the Mozambique Ministry of Education (MoE) has become aware of the importance of establishing service delivery partnerships with other governmental ministries, as well as non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Through these multisectoral partnerships, the MoE has facilitated the delivery of essential services and support for learners at the school level. One of the many schools that has benefited from this action is EPC Magoanine Primary School.
EPC Magoanine A is a large primary school with an enrolment of nearly 4 800 (over 2 200 girls and 2 500 boys). Before the introduction of CSTL, many of the learners were underperforming. This was largely due to the lack of psychosocial and other support services required to help these vulnerable children deal with the many learning barriers confronting them.
After being included in the Care and Support for Teaching and Learning (CSTL) Programme at the start of 2016, Chingoli Primary School has put CSTL principles into practice to support vulnerable learners.
Material support to vulnerable learners
Firstly, Chingoli has introduced a programme to provide material support to needy students for example, by providing them with school uniforms.
After they attended the CSTL training, teachers contacted partners and the business community to raise funds to buy materials to make uniform for learners. The school has also set aside one day a month when teachers and students alike make a voluntary contribution to the fund for this.
Formation of partnerships
The CSTL Programme has encouraged schools to form partnerships, and Chingoli School approached various organizations to join hands in caring and supporting vulnerable children.
During June, the Mozambique Ministry of Education (MoE) hosted CSTL partners. The visitors included representatives from the following funding and implementing partners: the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (CSTL funding partner), represented by Mr Christian Engler and Lawrence Lewis; and MIET AFRICA (CSTL implementing partner), represented by Lucas Chachine (Board member), Lynn van der Elst (CEO), Pontsi Buthelezi (CSTL team leader) and Sindi Zulu (CSTL Regional Coordinator).
The visit commenced with a meeting at the MoE headquarters in Maputo, where the MoE’s Director of Health and Nutrition, Dr Arlinda Chaquisse, gave a presentation on the progress of CSTL in the country. She highlighted the strong collaboration between government and non-government partners in the strengthening of the education system, using CSTL as an overarching framework to guide the MoE’s response to addressing learning barriers faced by children and youth. Dr Chaquisse shared how CSTL has been contextualized to address priorities in Mozambique,
On 9 May, the Malawian Ministry of Education, Science and Technology hosted a visit by SDC and MIET AFRICA (CSTL’s funding and implementing partners, respectively) to two CSTL laboratory schools.
This report by MIET AFRICA’s CEO, Lynn van der Elst
Chingoli is a large primary school (Grades 1–8), with an enrolment of over 2000 learners, who are drawn from a severely impoverished area outside Blantyre. The school was physically destroyed by the floods in 2015, and since then has been operating out of a church hall and tents provided by UNICEF, while it awaits the building of new premises.
During the visit, the principal, teachers, parents and learners all testified about the transformation the school experienced regarding how learners are treated since the introduction of CSTL. Furthermore, we saw the value that CSTL capacity-building has had for the teachers and learners:
Teachers shared with us how they have integrated care and support into the Life Skills curriculum,