Over the past two years ALERT, in partnership with Coventry University and with the assistance of David Brackstone of John Taylor High School (UK), has been developing a range of initiatives to improve our educational interventions for our local communities in Livingstone, Zambia. Throughout January, a team of staff and students from Coventry University have been in Livingstone continuing their assessments of these interventions to ensure that they are effective.
ALERT Educational Centre interventions are all aimed at supporting the formal education system by offering extra-curricular activities to enhance learning, and to assist with access to education for vulnerable people. Current projects 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 offer fully funded internship and facilitated research placements for university level students. The next course, currently in development, is numeracy (Maths Club) and future programmes will incorporate classes in health, nutrition and physical education and business studies/entrepreneurship, as well as a variety of vocational training courses. Provision of classes will also be extended to greater numbers of adults.
As the 2016 educational year commenced in Gweru, 60 grade six students from Takunda Primary School and a further 42 students from Mkoba 4 Primary School began an eight-week conservation education course that will give them an understanding of the advantages of living alongside and conserving local wildlife, habitats and ecosystems.
Given the success of the literacy and life skills courses in Livingstone, we have begun to roll out the programmes to schools at both our Victoria Falls and Gweru project sites in Zimbabwe, to complement the conservation education classes that are already offered at these locations.
In Gweru, Book Club (literacy) will initially be offered at four institutions; two schools, one orphanage and at a drop-in centre for street children, whilst Kids Club (basic life skills) will also be initially introduced at the orphanage and drop-in centre.
The first step of introducing Book Club in Gweru has been undertaken this past week with the implementation of standardised reading assessments to determine current reading ages. This is undertaken so we can place each pupil into an appropriate reading age group to make it easier for us to target the specific needs of the pupil, and to help us assess their progress over time when the tests are repeated periodically.
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.
Support the AEC
If you would like to support the activities of our AEC operations please click here.