School of Education

Honours dissertation investigates environmental awareness

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Nokuthula Duma
Nokuthula Duma

She believes ‘that there is a need for every one of us to understand the role we play in society and become more conscious of the effects of our decisions on the environment and future generations. We need to promote sustainable living.’

Determined to make a difference, Duma facilitated critical environmental education with students at the Denison residence on the Pietermaritzburg campus to raise awareness of the need to reduce waste.

‘The focus group discussions enabled us as students to learn about waste disposal issues … and empower each other to reduce waste on campus and in our everyday lives. uMsunduzi Waste Management provided bins for recycling which were placed around Denison residence and some students made good use of them,’ she said.

Her research pointed to a lack of critical environmental awareness to encourage students to live a sustainable life.

‘The University itself needs to promote recycling and sustainable living. Most students associate waste reduction behaviours with poverty but through critical environmental awareness, sustainable living can be achieved. In order for students to live a sustainable life (reduce waste), they need support from local municipalities or any community management structure,’ Duma added.

She thanked her family, friends and supervisor for their support during her studies.

Duma is currently enrolled for a Masters in Education specialising in education and development that focuses on critical waste awareness and management. Later this year, she will be working on one of Groundwork’s waste campaign projects.

‘It was wonderful to watch Nokuthula grow in certainty and determination as she proceeded with her self-reflexive action research, facilitating such a constructive contribution to making the world better through pursuing her passion,’ said supervisor Ms Jane Quin.

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