The regional Eco-Schools award ceremony was hosted by the Rhodes University Environmental Learning Research Centre on the 9th March 2012. The Grahamstown Seventh Day Adventist School and Kingswood College were amongst four schools in the Eastern Cape to receive recognition as an international Eco-School. Overall sixty-four schools from across the province were awarded with certificates which represent increasing commitment and sophistication as schools take on the Eco-Schools challenge at the level of bronze, silver, green, gold, international and platinum.
Messages of support were offered by Mr Stamper of the Makana Department of Education and Ms Mene of the Provincial Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism. Acknowledging the two main pillars of Eco-Schools - learning and environmental action - Mr Stamper commended Eco-Schools for its success in strengthening curriculum work in schools across all ages and phases while Ms Mene highlighted the potential of Eco-Schools to make meaningful change towards a sustainable world as learners become involved in small-scale projects in their schools. Building on Mr Stamper’s comment that that the programme has support from the Department of Education from district to national level, Sindi Yoyo of the Department of Education, highlighted that Eco-Schools has the potential to precipitate significant turnaround in schools. Nokuphumla Pati, one of the first schools to receive an international flag in the Eastern Cape gave testament to this with her stories of activities in her school over the last ten years.
Professor Rob O’Donoghue of the Environmental Learning Research Centre made a practical presentation on alternative technologies - what he called a “plan b” for when “contemporary technologies fail us”. He encouraged Eco-Schools to join in the forthcoming competition involving a hot-box, a composter and tree planting. Schools interested in joining this competition can contact Rob at 046-603 8389 or firstname.lastname@example.org