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UKZN Hosts Climate Change Education Certificate Celebration

The School of Education’s Community Engagement and Extended Learning division hosted the Keep it Cool-Climate Change Education (KIC-CCE) certificate celebration on the Edgewood campus.

The programme is endorsed by the South African Council of Education (SACE) and successful candidates receive their certificate of completion, which contributes to their Continuing Professional Teacher Development (CPTD) points.

The programme’s partners include the Centre for the Advancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CASME), GreenMatter, VVOB, the Flanders government and Fundisa for Change.

Attending were representatives of the KZN Department of Education, and school leaders, teachers and learners from the Pinetown district who were involved in the KIC-CCE project. The national coordinator for the Fundisa for Change programme, Ms Shanu Misser, and the KIC-CCE project coordinator, Ms Kgomotso Thomas, were also there.

UKZN’s Professor Ronicka Mudaly said: ‘The UKZN KIC-CCE programme was planned and implemented between February 2021 and June 2022. The teaching programme entailed online sessions with 40 teachers (20 Natural Sciences and 20 Geography), and UKZN and CASME facilitators. Teachers also engaged in the Professional Learning Communities and Change projects that were coordinated by CASME, and UKZN postgraduate candidates, Dr Aro Sibanda and Mr Sebastian Sanjigadu.

Teachers, as part of the assessment for the programme, submitted Portfolios of Evidence, which were assessed and certification for the programme was provided by UKZN’s Extended Learning division.’

The Academic Leader for Community Engagement at UKZN, Professor Angela James, has been the overall coordinator of the UKZN KIC-CCE since the inception of the programme.

The programme took place at five universities nationally and was coordinated by GreenMatter and VVOB, with funding by the Flanders Government in Belgium. The objective of the project is to recognise and engage the education sector, as a strategic resource in South Africa’s transition towards a more climate resilient society.

The KIC-CCE project was introduced in three provinces – Limpopo, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal – involving the University of Venda, Rhodes University, the University of Fort Hare, the University of Zululand and UKZN.

Interim CEO at UKZN Extended Learning Mr Mxolisi Miya said: ‘This is a relevant programme that allows teachers and learners to be agents of change and influencers for climate conservation. We are proud to be part of this.’ Ms Busi Thobela of the Department of Basic Education added: ‘The programme enables teachers and learners to do more for the environment – we fully support this endeavour.’

Fundisa for Change National Coordinator Mrs Shanu Misser said: ‘Because of the reality of climate change, we felt there was an urgency to enhance transformative environmental learning through teacher education. This is a unique programme as it is the only national level teacher educator programme available in South Africa which focuses on the environment and sustainability content in the South African curriculum. It is all about developing knowledgeable teachers who can uncover knowledgeable children able to implement real change.’

Natural Sciences teacher at Dr AD Lazarus Secondary School Mr Maduray Pillay said: ‘The most valuable aspect of the course was working with climate change content knowledge as it related to my subject and the wider discourse.’

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