Teacher trainers at Serowe College in Botswana have come up with an innovative solution: creating teaching materials from recycled rubbish.

Teacher trainers and student teachers collect, sort and clean waste material. Waste material is then used to create different learning tools like musical instruments, masks and toys. Student teachers are afforded the opportunity to explore their creative talent during this process. This is particularly important as the 2019 Teaching Practice report stated that “students displayed challenges in varying activities [and] …lacked creativity” (p.3). This report coupled with the unsightly dump at the college inspired Taswika Kanasi, the Head of Department in Music Education at Serowe College, to start a Change Project on creating resources from waste material. She realized that student teachers were depending on commercial resources to employ practical exercises in the Department of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE).

Kanasi is a participant of the Sustainability Starts with the Teachers Capacity Building Programme funded by Swedish International Development Association (SIDA) and implemented by UNESCO ROSA. The aim of the programme is to strengthen the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in teacher education institutions for teachers and educators. Kanasi said:

The capacity building programme and training came at the right time. I found it rightful to engage in this Change Project in order to teach student teachers how to practically make their own resources and teach the young ones too

Change Projects are institutional change initiatives to support the integration of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) into teacher education. Trading under the name “Development of ECCE materials to by student teachers and pupils”, the Change Project promotes transformative learning for students while it also instils a sense of love for their environment.    

Kanasi is one of the panel members of the Development of the Botswana General Certificate for Secondary Education (BGCSE) outcome-based syllabus. She has therefore taken a deliberate effort to show the value of ESD to the officers and teachers in the (panel). Incorporating ESD into the Syllabus will ensure lifelong transformative learning.