The 12th of May 2017 was a rather rainy and grey day at Pietermaritzburg in Kwa-Zulu Natal but that did not get in the way of me being a teacher for a day.
The Panorama Junior Primary School pupils stood in anticipation with their perspective teachers to hear what Philiswa Ndzoyiya a Miss Earth South Africa Kwa-Zulu Natal Regional Semi-Finalist 2017 was about to share with them. I shared with them why they needed to make sure that they do not waste, mainly focusing on litter. I left them with four important R’s to remember in order to stop wasting, which are: Reduce, Respect, Re-use and Recycle. I become enthusiastic when one of the teachers reinforced my message by reminding the junior primary school pupils about how they are active participants in recycling at the school.
The junior primary assembly about waste was followed by an educational activity with a grade 3 class. The learners were extremely well behaved and actively participating in the activity. It made the activity enjoyable to do with them.
When the learners had finished crafting their stationery tin holders, I asked them to write a simple sentence about what they will do to stop wasting and afterwards to share it with the rest of the class. There were responses such as: “I will not litter because it will harm animals, says another nature lover” to “I will not waste water” etc. Chase, one of the learners, told the class about how his dog died from poisoning. I capitalised on Chase’s story to emphasis to the rest of the class about the negative impact that littering has on not just humans but animals too.
Overall, being called ‘mam’ was absolutely thrilling. It took me back to my primary school days where I looked up to guests that would visit my school and talk to us about various social issues. The days were I dreamt of one day being a leader.
The Miss Earth environmental education within schools helps reinforce the importance of looking after the environment to school children. The learners begin to acknowledge that by being active participants in recycling projects at school they are indeed making a real tangible difference.