Friday 10 June was World Environment Day (WEV). To mark the occasion, a massive 80 schools joined up at Mukuvisi Woodlands for the annual Eco Schools Programme event.
The Eco-Schools Programme aims to achieve sustainable environmental management by incorporating environmental issues into the national curriculum. Participating schools included Highlands Primary, Harare Central Prison Primary, Moffat Primary, Regina Mundi High, Highfield 2 High, and Churchill Boys’ High. The schools participated in music, poetry, speeches and exhibits of environmentally relevant art work and sculptures.
Delivering the Minister of Environment, Water and Climates’ speech, the director of environment Irvine Kunene said that the Eco-School Programme instils a positive attitude towards environmental sustainability, and has the potential to inspire children’s interest in and appreciation of the environment. Kunene said, “To the authorities I recommend putting environmental management issues on the agenda of staff meetings to encourage staff to develop and implement environmental management plans which will see resources being used sustainably. Schools should engage in recycling programmes and promote and practice electricity and water conservation practices.” Kunene added that school yards should be free from litter and waste management facilities such as bins should be adequately provided at every school to promote responsible waste disposal.
Mrs Mamuzore, a teacher from Highlands Primary School, said the event was important and very educational for the students as it taught them a lot about recycling waste material and it gave the children time to interact with others. Mrs Chingaira, another teacher at Highlands Primary, said the event caters for all levels from primary to secondary schools and encourages creativity on the teachers’ part in research and preparation for lessons.
Desire Chikonzo and Tanyaradzwa Mawengwa, students from Highfield 2 High School, said the event was very enlightening and most of the issues discussed connected with the subjects they do at school. They liked the City of Harare presentation which dealt with water conservation and the process involved in water purification.
Other exhibitors that were present included UNICEF, Friends of the Environment, National Biotechnology Authority, Total Zimbabwe, Castrol, Econet and DRI.
The eco-School programme was developed by Mukuvisi Woodlands Education Unit which attempts to curtail the rate of environmental degradation by empowering and educating school children, a concept dubbed ‘Catch them Young’.