Creating a sustainable green energy bio-gas digestor
The Lesotho College of Education’s change project aims to reduce the energy usage in several teaching and learning activities in the Department of Technology Studies such as metal work by the construction of bio-gas digester for Green Energy. Secondly, their change project aims to address the challenges experienced with the sewer line. Waste from agriculture is sometimes not easy to manage. The change project aims to train and up-skill the sample population of college and external community stakeholders near the College in the construction of bio-gas digester and its importance. The change project aims to work towards Agenda 2030 and SDG goals geared towards transformation and capacitation inherent to sustainable development regarding environment, economic and social agenda activities. The bio-gas digester will be constructed to use up the waste that is produced by agricultural projects (poultry and a piggery). The water from the system will then be recycled to irrigate crops in agriculture. The gas produced will reduce energy costs in technology workshop. This means it will contribute to cost reduction and management of waste materials.
Food is life: Production of organic herbs for Home Economics kitchen
The Change Project led by Mamohato Ts’ephe, with group members: ‘Mathabo Ts’eole-Mphakela, Mamoshoeshoe Mopeli and Ts’epo Sekaleli aims to create an organic herb garden that will supply the Home Economics Department at the College. The aim is to integrate indigenous knowledge systems into the curriculum through demonstration sites. The motivation behind the study is boosting and maintaining healthy immune systems especially during this Covid19 pandemic. Furthermore, the use of herbs in food production division is ‘healthier’ than the use of manufactured spices that uses additives and preservatives. Learning how to produce them is even better because it is cost effective and alleviates poverty. The herbs will be grown within the campus using organic manure from animal wastes and plants from the College farm. the use of organic manure and bio-char from arondo donax (reed) will contribute to soil fertility and improve soil structure helping with the growing of the herb garden through sustainable and eco-friendly materials. To adapt to the changing climate, they aim to create a tunnel made from plastic bottles which will be used as a mini green house. Instead of buying and using plastic for a greenhouse the team opted for the re-useable plastic bottles with an additional caveat that the collection of bottles on campus and surrounding areas will contribute in cleaning the environment. Showcasing the different techniques to show the different ways in which one can grow herbs or for home garden purposes, some will be grown on the ground while others will be grown in used bottles, boxes, tyres and tins (or any other reusable material). The aim is to create a sustainable supply of herbs for the Home Economics Department which will reduce dependency on the College for financial support and simultaneously students will learn through the practical demonstration sites how to grow herb gardens and hopefully they will use this knowledge in their homes and teaching practice schools. There are added benefit of the economic value and health benefits as the community will benefit through producing their own herbs for income generation and their own nutrition and health.
Walking the path: Developing local historic trails for community identity and entrepreneurship
The change project led by Julia Chere-Masopha and Makafane aims to establish transformative learning pathways using ESD. This will be achieved through a process of curriculum review and co-engaged teaching and learning process that will lead to curriculum transformation. The aim of the change project is to co-generate a teaching and learning environment that will enhance and facilitate an integrated learning approach to the environment and the dynamic interactions. The change project will specifically focus on the importance of Eco-tourism as a teaching tool that will incorporate the biological, physical and socio-economic dimensions of the environment. Teacher trainees will be encouraged to design modules that integrate ESD objectives into the curriculum and translate them into interactive teaching and learning tools that can be integrated into real life situations. Therefore, the change project requires teacher trainees to work with their learners to identify at list 5 historic places in the local environment of their schools and develop historic trails. Local community members will participate as resource persons or informants. The student teachers will also work along with their students to design brochures that inform or educate those interested in these trails. Both learners and teachers will participate in this project as tour guides of these trails, charging a small fee for this activity that will go towards the maintenance and sustainability of the project. Teacher trainees will acquire knowledge, skills and appreciation of transformative learning that translate national curriculum for classroom teaching and integration of ESD.
Sustainable packaging: The race to end polystyrene
While foam pack food containers are easy to use, they pose several sustainability challenges that are now being considered at the Lesotho College of Education. This change project notes with concern that usage of foam packs has created growing problem of litter on campus due to a lack of appropriate waste bins. A further environmental concern is fact that foam packs are non-biodegradable. There is also a health concern as the Styrofoam and other toxic materials can filter into hot food and drinks, particularly when the food is heated in a microwave, and these can become hazardous to consumers.
The aim is to integrate a sustainable food and supply system that will introduce re-usable and recyclable eating packs that can be used over and over. The change project also engaged students in research work to investigate the type of materials that foam packs are made with a particular focus on: the impact of harmful material used in Styrofoam packs on humans (these studies will involve practical tests that will be carried out by students with the help of relevant Lecturers); to understand the impact in the use of Styrofoam packs on campus; conduct research to find out if foam packs can be recycled in order to find means to make them recyclable and usable products again.
The future is an indigenous botanic garden
Marunye Joalane and Marafolatsane Seeiso of the Lesotho College of Education change project goal is to reduce excessive biodiversity loss while preserving indigenous plants that have medicinal value. The project aims to conduct campaigns awareness on sustainable development, Education for Sustainable Development, directed at the college community. Academic staff with the help of HOD of the Science Department can be brought to the garden so that they can do topic audits and find ways of infusing ESD in those topics using the garden as a demonstration site. At the same time the student-teachers can also do as a project where they do topic audit of the primary school syllabus and identify topics where they think ESD can be incorporated and how they think they can teach it. So, different departments e.g., Social Sciences can benefit by using the garden for naming the plants, agriculture, and biology lectures can also use the garden as a reference point in their teaching. Their partners including students, District environmental officer, and district range management office and community herbalist. And the work is focused on research on how to identify the plants, their location, soil type, harvesting method, and seasons appropriate for harvesting. This was done with the collaboration of the village herbalist and chiefs for guidance.
Development of Ecosystem Trails on Roma Campus
At the National University of Lesotho their change project was focused on promoting environmental education activities by improving teaching practices. The main aim for the project was to shift towards action-oriented learning and teaching. Student-teachers were given the opportunity to develop the ecosystem trails through the practical work that they were going to do in the courses. ESD issues were included in the course outlines, however, due to COVID19 the practical component of the courses was not delivered. As a result, the actual trails were not set up however plans are kicking into high gear this year to finalize the development of the eco-trails.
Let food be thy medicine: constructing a botanical garden for preserving medicinal plants in Lesotho College of Education
The Lesotho College of Education mission statement along with the college values exhibit a lot of aspects of ESD. However, translation of the aspirations and values into the programmes curriculum and pedagogical practices in a transformative way still remains a big challenge. Of course, there are several subjects offered that have a healthy amount of ESD issues such as Arts and Entrepreneurial skills, technical subjects, development studies, agriculture, home economics and sciences such as Biology and chemistry. However, the ESD offerings are segregated and do not translate into a holistic package as demanded by ESD as a result, they do not bring about the change that they are expected too.
The incorporation of indigenous knowledge into the curriculum to enhance ESD advance sustainability objectives has turned these educators gaze towards local communities and the need to make use of ingenious knowledge as a resource. This has meant the working towards documentation and archiving this knowledge hub through their college library and using that knowledge and information to advance SDG goals and center for knowledge sharing.
The Thabatseka Campus Change project has the potential to advance the school towards sustainable development as if fosters rethinking our teaching practices and need to migrate to action oriented transformative pedagogies. The potential exists to improve assessment including research and development of rubrics that will help in assessing the different stages of research thus facilitate development of lifelong skills in the enrolled student teachers
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Lesotho’s dream of a national Education for Sustainable Development strategy draws closer to reality
Since 2020 Lesotho has desired to have a national Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) strategy to support the country towards its vision 2030 agenda. ESD infuses key sustainable development issues into teaching and learning such as climate change, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity, poverty reduction, and sustainable consumption. The gap in ESD was revealed by a number of ESD...