A Question of Conservation
April 4 2018

On Friday March 23rd, ALERT, with the support of Lion Encounter, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) and Environment Africa, hosted a wildlife quiz to celebrate the recent World Wildlife Day and its theme for 2018, ‘Big Cats’. 

The quiz was designed to complement ALERT’s conservation education syllabus and human-wildlife conflict mitigation work in Victoria Falls and consisted of questions relating to what local school children have been taught about conservation.  In all, nine schools participated with three students in each team, representing both rural and urban communities.  

The nine participating schools

The first round, which was conducted by a ZPWMA officer, was a competition between all participating schools, requiring students to work together as a team to come up with the correct answers.  First prize was awarded to Kings Primary School with 220 points, followed by Chinotimba Primary School with 200 points and, in third place, Baobab Primary School with 190 points.

First round winners Kings Primary School

In round two, a knock-out round conducted by ALERT’s research technician Rumbidzai Magwiro, students had to answer questions individually.  At the end of 28 questions, three students remained.  The gold medal winner was Sean, a grade six student from Kings Primary School, with schoolmate Aurelia taking the silver medal. Bronze went to Professor, a grade seven student from Breakfast Primary School.  As well as their medals and a certificate, each of the three winners was presented with a stationery hamper. 

Gold medal winner Sean

Silver medal winner Aurelia 

Bronze medal winner Professor

All participants received a certificate of attendance and every school was given a tree seedling to plant in appreciation of their support of the event.


About ALERT’s Conservation Education Project

Our conservation education syllabus was developed by ALERT in partnership with Coventry University and David Brackstone of John Taylor High School.  Evaluation of the effectiveness of the syllabus in changing attitudes towards a more positive view of conservation has been undertaken by Coventry University as well as by Ruth Armstrong, of Edinburgh Napier University.  ALERT has also established a tripartite agreement between ALERT, Copperbelt University (Zambia) and Midlands State University (Zimbabwe) to improve conservation education provision in these two countries.

The syllabus has four main objectives:

- to increase participants’ awareness of their environment and assist them in developing sound judgement in the management of natural resources;

- to involve participants in activities to increase their understanding of environmental issues;

- to encourage participants to develop the ability to view situations from an environmental point of view, and to undertake simple investigations and interpret the results, and;

- to emphasize to participants the potential of the environment as a source of benefits and therefore something to conserve, manage and sustain.

This work combines science with local knowledge, to ensure we deliver a conservation education curriculum that positively impacts upon students’ attitudes and behaviours, and is culturally appropriate for the children and communities we reach.

About ALERT Education Centres (AEC)

Conservation Education is one aspect of the work of our ALERT Education Centres.  The AEC operations at Livingstone (Zambia), Victoria Falls and Antelope Park (Zimbabwe) are all aimed at supporting the formal education system by offering extra-curricular activities to enhance student learning, and assisting with access to education for vulnerable students.  Current programs include the provision of classes in conservation education, basic life skills, and English literacy.  In addition, we provide funding to pay the fees of vulnerable students to take part in education from pre-school to university level, and fully funded internship and facilitated research placements for university level students.  Future programmes will incorporate classes in numeracy, health & nutrition, physical education and business studies/entrepreneurship, as well as a variety of vocational training.  The AEC is operated in association with Coventry University (UK), Midlands State University (Zimbabwe) and Copperbelt University (Zambia), and with the assistance of David Brackstone of John Taylor High School (UK).   The first AEC, at Antelope Park, was opened in 2012 by the then Zimbabwe Minister of Education, Mr. David Coltart.

Join us at the AEC

ALERT offers a Conservation Education internship for those keen to gain hands-on teaching experience, while contributing to the protection and preservation of Africa’s wildlife.  Interns will help in preparing and delivering lessons both in the classroom and on field trips.  The syllabus encompasses environmental conservation, ecology and biodiversity, sustainability, and wildlife ecology and management.  If you are interested in an internship at the AEC at Antelope Park click here full details.

Make a donation to support our work.

If you are able to contribute to fund our conservation education programme, you can make a donation here.

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