"In the end, we conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught." Baba Dioum
Education, in all its forms, is the cornerstone for the success of all ALERT’s programmes. Education not only enables us to appreciate the need to conserve our natural resources, and reduces reliance on those resources, but also helps us to understand how to meet these challenges, and to take advantage of the benefits generated by conservation efforts.
Our education programme aims to empower communities through either support of the formal education sector through School Development Projects, or to compliment formal education through our ALERT Education Centres.
School Development Projects
Our aim is to increase the capacity of the schools with which we work to offer higher learning possibilities for their pupils.
All the schools surrounding our project sites are severely resource limited with classes that are over-crowded and lacking educational materials. Our projects therefore focus on:
- School building and refurbishment to create improved learning environments.
- Resource provision to provide teachers with the educational materials they need to enhance lessons;
- Teacher assistance to help teachers plan and run lessons more effectively.
All programmes are operated in agreement with the school in question, and with approval from relevant educational boards.
Between them the 12 schools and pre-schools with which we work serve over 4,000 children.
ALERT Education Centres
Our aim is to complement the formal education sector by assisting vulnerable students with access to education, offering extra-curricular activities that enhance student learning, and providing fully funded internship and facilitated research placements.
Current programmes at our ALERT Education Centres in Livingstone (Zambia), and in Victoria Falls and Antelope Park (Zimbabwe) include 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 to gain work experience in a variety of fields, and undertake data collection for their theses. Future programmes will incorporate classes in numeracy, health & nutrition, physical education and business studies/entrepreneurship, as well as a variety of vocational training programmes.
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.