The Natural Sciences teacher training short course was held on the 9th – 11th March 2016 at Hemmingways Guesthouse in King Williamstown, Eastern Cape. A follow up training was conducted on the 4th -6th May 2016 and on the 22nd of June 2016. The Short Course was attended by Natural Sciences (Grade 7- 9) teachers.  The facilitators were Lebona Nkhahle, Rob O’Donoghue, Zintle Songqwaru, Sirkka Tshiningayamwe and Caleb Mandikonza – educationalists from the Environmental Learning and Research Center (ELRC) Rhodes University, with the help of Daluxolo from the Biogas Project site and Kalazani, King Williamstown landfill site manager. The training was supported by King Williamstown Department of Basic Education.

The focus of the training was on climate change, with a focus on teaching and assessment of climate change and content knowledge. The training also discussed issues around assessment and the different ways of assessing learners.  Following the training participants visited King Williamstown landfill site. The site treats solid waste by burying it underground, see Fig 1 and 2. The teachers also visited the biogas project sight in Rabula, see Fig 3.

Following the training,teachers are to submit assignments task upon which they will get a short course certificate from Rhodes University and professional development points from the South African Council for Educators (SACE). The teachers also agreed to form a WhatsApp group in which they could easily communicate with one another and discuss their professional matters.

Teachers arriving at King Williamstown landfill site

Fig 1: Teachers arriving at the landfill site and being introduced to how it operates.

Landfill-site (1)

Fig 2: Landfill site

Biogas 1 - Biogas project at Rabula village in King Williamstown

Fig 3: Teachers arriving at the Biogas Project site in Rabula. Two chambers can be seen on the ground: the one on the left is where materials are added; the one on the right is where biogas collects. At the back is the vegetable garden.

Article by Patience Shawarira and Lenona Nkhahle.