The first Fundisa for Change teacher training session for 2014 was hosted at the Donald Woods Centre near Elliotdale in the Eastern Cape from the 20th to the 22nd of August 2014.
The training was on a Fundisa for Change Marine Biodiversity module. Participating trainees were grade 10 – 12 Life Sciences teachers from the Idutywa district who were selected to attend from schools located close to the Dwesa/Cwebe Nature Reserve. This training was facilitated by Mrs Janet Snow and Miss Sirkka Tshiningayamwe(who co-authored the module), Ms Nomaledi Mbambisa(a Deputy Chief Education Specialist in the Eastern Cape), Miss Zintle Songqwaru from Rhodes University (Co-ordinator of the Fundisa for Change programme) and Mr Lebona Nkahle a researcher in the Fundisa NRF research programme. The training was made possible with the support from Wildlands Conservation Trust and Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund.
Teachers were introduced to the Fundisa for Change programme, its framework and pedagogical methods on day one. On day two after a session on classification, the teachers went on a marine ecosystem study at the Cwebe-Dwesa Nature Reserve where ecosystems, trophic energy levels and food webs were investigated. On the last day of the training the teachers engaged with human impacts and responses to marine biodiversity loss. A subsequent training session has been scheduled towards the end of the year to engage with assessment in CAPS on marine biodiversity content knowledge and for the first assignment reviews.
Upon completion of the training, one participant commented, “The facilitation allowed teachers to make their input.” “I will apply what I have learned in my own teaching and share with colleagues,” said the other. “The field trip to the sea was an eye-opener and the programme is really empowering teachers,” reiterated the empowered teachers
Teachers who complete the training and submit a ‘portfolio of evidence’ will get a short course certificate from Rhodes University.