Best Ideas 2021 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.

Support-A-Learner Initiative

Published on September 20, 2021 um 13:26

Explain your idea in details:

Greentech Innovators is setting up a schools programme called Support-A-Learner during September holidays. The proposed project has two important aspects. Firstly there will be a sustained 6 month long engagement with schools through a science club, in which leaners are encouraged to make measurements of their local environment and find out how it is special. Secondly a week long workshop in the September Holidays in which learners find out how the Earth system works and therefore why their local area is special. We will use Walter Sisulu University (WSU) Health Resource Center which is outside the campus and situated next to a WSU Medical School. This facility has lecture halls, dining halls and medical laboratories which will be used to perform experiments during the workshop. We chose it because it is outside the campus and secured incase incidents of strike arise. The proposed field trips are Hluleka Nature reserve and Langeni Forest. These two areas are one of the scientific interesting areas based on their nature yet are rarely visited by learners. Hluleka nature reserve is a coastal protected area situated about 35km from Mthatha; this area will expose learners to the conservation of flora and fauna biodiversity from forest and marine ecosystem. The interaction of these ecosystems together with their surrounding in this regional level is a bigger picture of why earth is habitable world wild. Langeni forest has one of the manmade wonders of the nation, the viaduct bridge which was built over the forest to avoid compromising the endemic plant species. The learners will be exposed to practical sustainable development at local level.

Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development

The aim of this initiative is to engage with secondary school learners and inspire them with science. Leaners will be encouraged to make measurements of their local environment and find out how it is special by linking how the Earth systems work. This event is a major initiative that will help to advance scientific knowledge in South African learners at very early stage and more importantly it will play a role in growing and developing the base of new and young researchers. Since education is a key to upliftment, this event will provide education opportunities and inspire optimism with the promise of a better future. The main aim is to create interest in and attract young learners to science and help them to be aware of why their local environment is the best place to study Earth systems. We will bring the science spirit to schools by allowing them to be hands on and taking advantage of their local environment. Last but not least the spirit will be more effective if the science is democratized in schools of which this event aims to achieve that. We will use the questionnaire method for learners to vote what went wrong and right and what areas should be improved for the next workshop.

Plans for implementation and sustainability

We have chosen three schools around Mthatha based on their educational standards from different settlements, for instance one of these schools is KT Mchasa SSS from rural area, Ngangelizwe SSS from a township area, and ST Johns College which is located in Mthatha designated as our urban school. This selection criteria aims at promoting equal exposure to the science discipline, exchange of knowledge and promoting multicultural and personal development. We believe that these selected schools do not have the same exposure to the field of science, with ST Johns College having better learning facilities such as science laboratories and excursions, with their teachers attending workshops making them well equipped with science. Contrast to these other two schools which are less exposed to these advantages and also facing challenges with shortage of science teachers and poor service delivery leading to lack of teaching equipment. To select learners from these schools, we seek to introduce the science club where we will engage with all the Grade 9s from these three selected schools. This science club aims at engaging with learners from different schools on various scientific activities aimed at promoting scientific knowledge amongst these learners. During the course of this science club we will involve assessments activities which will be used as the criteria to select learners to attend the workshop. From each school we choose five learners which will be selected on the basis of their performance. The criteria selects the top two performing learners, followed by one moderate learner and two lowest performing learners which reckons to a total of five learners per school and fifteen learners in total. The programe is supported by CSIR by R26 000, and sponsored by OR Tambo District Municipality with a value of approximately R45 000, Walter Sisulu University with a value of R50000.

Your profile

Sithethelele Bekwa is a 26 year young man born in Eastern Cape in a small challenging rural town called Tsolo. He pursued his studies on Environmental Sciences where he obtained Honours degree at Walter Sisulu University. Currently he is the director of the Greentech Innovators and Master's candidate on water and climate change. He further obtained a certificate in Business management and recently won the enviropreneurs competition hosted by GreenMater on July 2021. He is the Eastern Cape Rep for Science workshops which makes him a suitable leader for the idea. He recruited experts in science to work with him to make this idea a success.

Stage of Idea

idea offered for implementation by others

Engagement with students

Field Trip

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