ALERT Education Centre Project Update
December 19 2014

November and December have been significant milestone months for the ALERT Education Centre. A great deal of positive progress has taken place.

The recent ALERT (African Lion & Environmental Research Trust) and MSU (Midlands State University) partnership is running well. We have also recently welcomed Takunda Primary School as an affiliate. Takunda is another school who has expressed interest in working with us. The vision of expanding more further by working with churches is an area that we have recognized will increase our reach for the inclusion of conservation into education curriculums. Our first group of church going students came from Acts of Faith Church.

As the year comes to an end, we are proud to announce that four classes, totalling 158 students, have graduated in this period. Please find the class details, number of students per class and graduation dates as below:
 
CLASS                                          GRADUATION DATE                        NUMBER OF STUDENTS
Acts of Faith Church                      15 November 2014                            15
Takunda Primary School                17 November 2014                            60
Mkoba 4 Primary School                26 November 2014                            44
Mkoba 4 Primary School                05 December 2014                            39
 
For an average of six weeks these classes embarked on a journey that introduced them to the what’s, the why’s and the how’s of “Conservation Basics.”

What was covered:
A snapshot of the material covered during the six week visit to the ALERT Education Centre can be seen here following:
 
Module 1            CONSERVATION; what it is and it’s necessity; threats to wildlife conservation and suggested/ proposed solutions to deal with these; etc.
Module 2            AFRICAN ANIMALS; adaptations; animal behavior; the Big 5; etc.
Module 3            DIFFERENT TYPES OF HABITATS; their ecosystems, need for their conservation and the daily needs people have upon them; etc.
Module 4            A highlight of the AFRICAN CONTINENT, i.e. it’s geography, demography and culture in diversity; etc.
Module 5            AFRICAN CATS; understanding the biology; conservation and value of such species; etc.
Module 6            Basic skills in TRACKING and identifying a variety of African animals and their spoor and recognizing different flora; etc.
 
Graduation Day and Activities
The four graduation days were in a sense, an extension of learning, the only difference being that scholars were not in the classroom but out in the environment. The day commenced with the presentation of test results where more than 70% of students scored above 50%. Well done to each and every one of our participants. These announcements were then followed by a five minute presentation given by the Antelope Park Guides. From here, everyone climbed on board the Antelope Park vehicle to explore the Private Game Park.

Activities included Elephant Training and Interaction, Snake Induction, a Game Drive, followed by the Lion Tour. Most of the students and teachers were seeing wildlife for the very first time in their lives, the experience was exceptionally well received and everyone had a very good time. The day concluded with the presentation of certificates and capture of individual photos in the ALERT Education Centre Classroom. The visit to Antelope Park also helps to cement and consolidate newly found information about conservation as kids are able to undertake practical activities such as tracking.

It has been a very good year for the ALERT Education Centre and everyone who contriutes towards the success of the organization. In 2015, we aim to continue reaching out further into the community as we strive to achieve our 1000 graduate mark!  We currently stand at 652 students since we started. Thank you to everyone for your support and we look forward to another very good year ahead.

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