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NORTHERN CAPE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. AQUATIC WEEDS PRESENTATION A DEPARTMENTAL PERSPECTIVE. HOW DID WE GET STARTED?.

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northern cape department of education

NORTHERN CAPE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

AQUATIC WEEDS

PRESENTATION

A DEPARTMENTAL PERSPECTIVE

how did we get started
HOW DID WE GET STARTED?
  • The National Working for Water Program is currently embarking on an Education & Awareness Project with regard to the Vaal River System. This project was brought about due to the devastating impacts of Invasive Aquatic Plants on our water resources, as well as the fact that the issue of Invasive Alien Plants is incorporated in the School Curriculum.
background
BACKGROUND
  • The proliferation of Water hyacinth, together with other invasive aquatic plants on the Vaal River System in South Africa poses a huge threat to the ability of this system to meet the needs of the millions of people dependent on it.
  • As a Department we would like to educate learners, parents and the communities regarding invasive plants.
starting with the basics
STARTING WITH THE BASICS
  • WORKSHOPS HELD IN WARRENTON
  • The Project Co-coordinator in collaboration with the Department of Education held a number of workshops in order to initiate this project.
  • The first workshop was held with the Principal and the staff of Warrenvale High School, and focused on a generic introduction to Invasive Alien Plants. This workshop was held at Warrenvale School on the 18 February 2010.
  • The staff was also briefed on the project and the benefits that it would have for their school, teachers and learners.
teachers from warrenval high school
TEACHERS FROM WARRENVAL HIGH SCHOOL

This workshop exposed teachers to both terrestrial an aquatic weeds, and was presented by Mrs. Lorraine Williams

learner workshops
LEARNER WORKSHOPS
  • The second workshop was held at the Warrenton Library on Saturday the 27 February 2010, for 5 learners from the 12 surrounding schools. The attendance was good and we had 53 learners attend the workshop.
  • The learners were introduced to both terrestrial as well as aquatic invasive plants. Learners were provided with resources to identify the invasive plants, and this knowledge was consolidated by practical identification of the invasives.
learners at the workshop
LEARNERS AT THE WORKSHOP

ACTIVITIES WERE HANDS-ON AND LEARNERS WERE ALSO EXPECTED TO DO PRESENTATIONS

excursion to the river
EXCURSION TO THE RIVER

Learners searching for the elusive Hyacinth after the flood. Three lucky learners who managed to spot a young Water Hyacinth

involving other schools
INVOLVING OTHER SCHOOLS
  • A workshop was also held on the 05 -06 March 2010 with teachers from the 12 schools in the Warrenton region. This workshop focused on training teachers on terrestrial and aquatic invasive plants. Teachers were also given resources that would assist them to identify both terrestrial and aquatic invasive plants.
  • The workshop was poorly attended, even though the school principals and teachers had confirmed their attendance, and this can be attributed to the fact that the workshops were held on a Friday and Saturday. Schools were also involved in sporting events that would grant learners opportunity to be selected for the various Provincial sporting codes.
  • The teachers however that attended the workshop both Friday and Saturday are committed to making a success of the project as they see potential value it holds.
rhodes university
RHODES UNIVERSITY
  • Sunday 07 March 2010, five officials and seven teachers departed for Rhodes University for an on-site session on aquatic weeds with Prof. Martin Hill and Dr Julie Coetzee on the 08 March 2010.
  • Prof. Hill first held a briefing session which included the history of Bio-control in South Africa, the bio-control agents that we would be investigating and management of a breeding site. The delegation was then taken to the breeding site for on-site inspection and to participate in hands-on activities which included catching/harvesting the weevils.
  • The weevils caught were then taken to the lab where they were investigated under microscopes.
  • These sessions were very educational and informative
selecting a pilot school
SELECTING A PILOT SCHOOL
  • Warrenvale High School was selected as the pilot school for the Water Hyacinth Project.
  • The school will establish a breeding site for the biological control agents for Water Hyacinth.
  • After breeding the weevils, they will be harvested and released onto the Vaal River System ( identified sites)
the breeding mass rearing site
THE BREEDING/ MASS REARING SITE
  • The school identified a dysfunctional cricket net as the breeding site.
  • Cricket South Africa might not agree that this is the best site.
before
BEFORE

AFTER

challenges with pools
CHALLENGES WITH POOLS
  • The extreme cold resulted in us having poor quality plants with which to stock the pools.
  • The cold also influenced the growth and reproduction rate.
challenges
CHALLENGES
  • The recent floods have washed away most of the Water Hyacinth.
  • They are now however spread further down the Vaal River System.
  • The Winter conditions has disguised the impact of the flood.
  • The summer months will reveal the true effect of the flood
curriculum challenges
CURRICULUM CHALLENGES
  • Most teachers did not specialize in Invasive Terrestrial and Aquatic plants.
  • The content within the curriculum is very superficial.
  • Content for the GET is not specified.
  • The examples available to study vary from province to province, even from district to district.
curriculum challenges cont
CURRICULUM CHALLENGES CONT.
  • Effective teacher training needs to take place.
  • The Curriculum Review also needs to speak to the content required for grades 4-12
  • The uncertainty of the content/ Learning Area changes might also influence the weighting given to invasive plant species.
departmental challenges
DEPARTMENTAL CHALLENGES
  • No budget for teacher training ,material development, etc.
  • The National Strike has resulted in learners being withdrawn from activities. (especially grade 12)
  • Teachers will also be involved in recovery programmes.
positive aspects
POSITIVE ASPECTS
  • The teachers who are currently involve in the project are very positive and enthusiastic.
  • The Department of Education in collaboration with RHODES and WITS will be developing content guidelines for teachers.
  • Teachers will also receive support from RHODES and WITS with regard to Lesson Plans
  • The weevils were released onto the plants on the 13 September 2010
formal launch
FORMAL LAUNCH
  • The Ministerial Launch would have taken place on the 07 October 2010.
  • In order to adhere to the National Minister’s request not to disrupt school , and to keep all learners in the class, a MEDIA LAUNCH will take place on the 09 October 2010 at Warrenvale High School.
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