Learners getting life skills says Provincial Education Director
In an interview with the Provincial Education Director of Midlands, Jameson Machimbira it was stated how the efforts of SCOPE Zimbabwe and its partners has benefited the beneficiaries of the project SCOPE Zimbabwe is working with Shurugwi communities. The project titled the Youth Promoting Agro-ecology Through Integrated Land Use Management for Nutrition Enhancement and Income Diversity Project. The following is what Mr Machimbira had to say about the project.
Firstly as the ministry of primary and secondary education we committed to provide food for our pupils whilst they are in school. These food provisions should be acquired in a sustainable manner and the only sustainable means is one in which the community provides for their children by utilizing the resources available in their environment, the land and the water and such. As government we can avail funds with limited budgets. We advocate for a home-grown school feeding programme which emphasizes on sustainability and participation of communities.
When SCOPE rolled out this programmes with our schools Musavezi, Nyamakari and Tumba; these schools started producing through their gardens and other permaculture practices and began producing whatever they needed in terms of food stuff, relish was being produced at the school. More so if you look at the dietary implications, they managed to produce the relevant nutrients that are required by the body.
These are planned activities were they pick which crops and vegetables to plant such as beans or tomatoes or the rearing of road runners (free range chickens) in the ecosystem developed by the project. All these activities are being done on the school yard. As a result these schools were able to show capabilities to feed their pupils from the produce they harvested from their gardens on the school.
The other thing is when we look at the impact is the activities and participation as well as interest from the community to their school. They now see value in the education of their children. The parents were very excited and they are participating a lot in the activities as they now see the value of their school to their children and the development of the school.
As government we are saying that technology can assist us in providing 21st century education by incorporating modern ways of doing things. The manner in which the water is now being reticulated into the school has provided for more learning time for the learners as opposed to be fetching water with buckets and tins from the borehole out of the schools. The water is now pumped into tanks by a self-powered system, learners are no longer running around with buckets sand tins. We find that lives can be bettered by infusing activities of school with technology.
When you interact with the learners from these schools sometimes when you interacted with them you noticed that the knowledge they exhibited was typical of that where there were such programmes as the one SCOPE brought to the school. It was not like you find at all the ordinary schools, but because of it these learners were engaged in the activities that were particular to the project they could display this knowledge which was of a higher quality. This is learning that we can say is relevant and appropriate and gives life skills to our learners. When we look at exit competences a learner leaving a school like Musavezi, Tumba or Nyamakari will have well rounded competences and skills that are relevant to life and living more than skills from theoretical knowledge from books.