In an effort to protect and preserve natural environment the Bindura University of Science Education has embarked on a project named ‘Utilisation of the Biosphere Reserves and Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Science teaching and learning’.
The project seeks to promote, manage, research and educate teachers on ecosystem conservation while ensuring the sustainable use of indigenous resources. This effort was developed from the Sustainability Starts with the Teachers (SST) Capacity-Building Programme by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). SST programme is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) empowers learners to take informed decisions and responsible actions for environmental integrity and economic viability. Sustainability Starts with the Teachers recognizes the value of Sustainable Development in quality education achievement.
Crispen Bvukuvhani a senior lecturer at Bindura University, one of the SST Capacity Building Programme participating teacher trainers was concerned by the poor performance of many students in Science subjects. Tasked with developing an institutional change initiative, known as a Change Project in the SST Programme, Bvukuvhani brought together a working team at the University to review the Science course outline and integrate ESD content.
The Change Project at Bindura University works in line with the new curriculum introduced by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in Zimbabwe. The revised curriculum ensures inclusive, equitable quality education and promotes life-long learning opportunities for all as espoused under Sustainable Development Goal 4.
The University has begun to teach pre-service student teachers using a reviewed course outline which includes culture and transformative pedagogies in science. To date one hundred and thirty student teachers who have received the ESD training are now on teaching practice using the new knowledge. Bvukuvhani said:
“Our Change Project justifies the rationale for the need to protect the rich science knowledge reserves we have in the biosphere and indigenous knowledge”