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Eco-programme awards schools

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More than 200 educators and learners from 94 schools over the province gathered at a venue in the city on Friday to receive awards in acknowledgement of their achievements and participation in the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (Wessa) Eco-schools programme during 2016.
The event was hosted by Capricorn District Municipality (CDM) and served to celebrate Water Week.
A total of 92 awards were presented to schools in acknowledgment of meeting the criteria for the Eco-schools programme by developing environmental action projects and learning programmes which have improved their schools’ sustainability practices. The schools also received Back to Basics Mathematics textbooks donated by the Rotary Club of Polokwane.
According to Wessa Eco-schools Project Manager, Judy van Schalkwyk, Eco-schools is a school-based environmental management, certification and sustainable development education programme of the international Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). “The programme is implemented in 64 countries around the world and by Wessa in South Africa. Eco-schools aim to improve environmental management and environmental learning at schools by assisting them to grow and develop their environmental capacity. The programme supports the National Curriculum (Caps) and benefits the school in terms of whole-school development and improvement,” Van Schalkwyk explained.
She said that ten schools that received awards are supported by the De Beers Fund, 13 schools are funded by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), eight schools were supported through the African Ivory Route/CESVI/EU funding, six schools benefited through CDM funding and five schools are funded by the Greater Tubatse Municipality, while five schools that received awards were supported through funding from Coca-Cola Fortune.
In support of the Water Week celebrations, the programme included a presentation by DWS, followed by traditional dancing performed by Marota and Seetla Primary Schools. The audience was also inspired by praise poetry performed by Tloukolobe Primary School.

Story and photos: BARRY VILJOEN
>>barryv.observer@gmail.com

Donovan Fullard, Wessa Schools Programme Manager informs guests at the awards ceremony and Water Week celebration about the Eco-schools programme.

Wessa Eco-schools Project Manager, Judy van Schalkwyk, educator at Educare Primary School in Tzaneen, Riekie Soures and Antoanetta Letsoalo, member of the Rotary Club of Polo­kwane fly the Wessa banner.

Antoanetta Letsoalo with one of the Back to Basics Mathematics textbooks that the Rotary Club of Polokwane presented to the learners of participating schools.

Representatives of the winning schools in the Wessa Eco-schools programme.