A couple of years ago, walking through the pathways of Marymount Teachers’ College one would see litter scattered everywhere. Today, the college has become the example of what zero litter means with no trace or smell of litter anywhere on the campus. This is a result of the project, ‘Integrating 21st Century Competences in Teacher Education Curriculum through Recycling, Re-using and Reducing Waste (3Rs)’.
Vimbai Matsongoni, the Marymount Teachers’ College Dean of Students, said:
“The drive for this Change Project came from a need to clean the environment at the institution while fostering attitude changes in people for them to be aware of sustainable development practices”
Marymount Teachers’ College is a participant in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Sustainability Starts with the Teachers (SST) Capacity-Building Programme for teacher educators on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Change Projects are initiatives that stemmed from the Capacity Building Programme to implement the integration of sustainable development practices into the education system. Matsongoni added:
“Our eyes were opened when we had the SST Capacity Building Training workshop, now we know more and have the ideas on how to effectively implement ESD in our communities and institutions through our Change Projects”
This sustainable development effort is not limited to the institution alone. Through the clean-up campaigns and community outreach programmes, the community is now actively involved in the Change Project. During clean up campaigns, the lectures and student teachers select some of the litter and turn it into capital goods such as teaching aids or toys.
Marymount Teachers’ College is now working towards creation of fuel alternatives from the rubbish dump. For example, the Change Project includes teaching about paper technology, as paper bricks can be made as fuel alternatives, as well as Bio-gas production.
The Change Project has also introduced organic gardening to utilise the vacant space at homes and to encourage sustainable lifestyles through healthy eating. Through the inclusion of 21st Century competences like critical thinking for environmental sustainability and lifelong learning is assured while safeguarding the land from litter pollution.