[justify]The South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), a Schedule 3A entity under the South African Department of Energy conducted a successful two -day Educators’ Workshop focusing on Climate Change as well as Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) on 22 and 23 March 2017, respectively. The workshops were held in the UMkhanyakude District Municipality (North of KwaZulu-Natal Province), one of the potential sites for the Pilot CO[sub]2 [/sub]Storage Project (PCSP). Mr Kevin Nassiep, the CEO of SANEDI handed-over sixteen Educational Science tool kits to seven primary schools, one combined school and seven secondary schools under the UMkhanyakude Education District. These tool kits were presented as a grand finale to the schools on the second day of the CCS educational workshop.
The purpose of the workshop was to raise awareness on Climate Change (focusing on the effects, causes, solutions) and CCS as well as to train Educators and Subject Advisors/Specialists who will in turn educate the learners and the school communities about CCS as one of the Climate Change mitigation measures. The participating schools fall within the areas of the jurisdiction of interest for the Pilot CO2 Storage Project (PCSP) in UMkhanyakude District Municipality.
With UMkhanyakude District Municipality being one of the water-scarce areas in the country, education on climate change effects must form an integral part of water saving and environmental initiatives. Climate Change education constitutes part of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) content adopted by the National and Provincial Departments of Basic Education since 2012.
SANEDI is mandated by the government to investigate the feasibility of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in South Africa. The two-day workshop was officially opened on 22nd March 2017 at Nkombose High School, Mtubatuba by Ms Phathi Sithole, UMkhanyakude Education District Science Education Specialist/Advisor. Ms Sithole, thanked SANEDI for organising the workshop and encouraged the Educators to participate meaningfully.
Ms Polly Modiko, SANEDI Stakeholder Engagement Lead for the Clean Fossil Fuels’ programme indicated that South Africa has potential to implement CCS as part of a portfolio of carbon dioxide (CO2) mitigation technologies to help address CO[sub]2[/sub] emissions and thereby contribute to Climate Change mitigation.
“The workshop is part of the Pilot School Project, which utilises existing structures such as climate change education, energy and Carbon Capture & Storage technology to demystify Maths-Science and Technology (MST)” said Ms Modiko.
The Pilot School Project (PSP) was established following recommendations by majority of the stakeholders consulted since 2013 who unanimously suggested that schools should form an integral part of the Pilot CO2 Storage Project Awareness Raising and Capacity Building outreach programmes. SANEDI then benchmarked against international schools in the countries that are already deploying the CCS technology such as UK, Canada, USA and Australia to name a few. As a result the PSP was initiated and tailor-made according to the South African curriculum.
The second day of the workshop was opened by Mr David Malati, UMkhanyakude Education District Science Education Specialist/Advisor. Mr Malati highlighted the importance of the workshop to the educators and district officials. “This workshop is part of the long running relationship established between the district and SANEDI in 2015” said Mr Malati.
Some of the activities during the workshop included question & answer sessions and practical hands-on activities. The hands-on activities such as; greenhouse gases identification, climate change solutions, matching tables, fill-in the missing words, and the carbon cycle were facilitated by both Rofhiwa Raselavhe and Wiseman Ngcobo.. The level of interest displayed by the educators during the activities and Q&A’s indicated that more support is needed in rural schools regarding demystifying Science, Maths and Technology placing emphasis on climate change education and CCS awareness.
Mr Kevin Nassiep, Chief Executive Officer of SANEDI reiterated our commitment to the partnership between SANEDI and UMkhanyakude Education District. Mr Nassiep indicated that the South African Centre for Carbon Capture & Storage and the CCS programme in particular were established to direct, monitor and conduct applied energy research and development as well as to promote energy efficiency in South Africa.
“In order for South Africa to achieve its Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) emissions reduction target, Carbon Capture and Storage must be deployed in tandem with other mitigation measures such as energy efficiency, renewable energies, fuel switching and nuclear energy.” asserted Mr K Nassiep.
The workshop provided and equipped the participants with a sound technical understanding of Climate Change, Energy and Carbon Capture & Storage technology.
In handing-over the Educational Science Tool Kits, Mr Nassiep said that SANEDI will continue to work closely with the UMkhanyakude Education District in order to improve education in the district. The UMkhanyakude Education District is one of the key role players in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province.
The Science Tool Kits will assist learners and Educators in conducting hands-on experiments and tasks that are aligned to the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS). The Tool Kits, come with teacher Guides and Learner Worksheets contained in the lockable cabinets. These Tool Kits are ideal as portable laboratories given that the majority of the schools in the rural areas are not equipped with Brick and Mortar laboratories. In addition, the kits consist of mechanical standard kits, teacher demonstrations kits, and chemical safety manuals and can be used for multiple classroom activities, experiments and tasks.
[font=Calibri, sans-serif]Mr Bhekani Shwala, UMkhanyakude Education District Deputy Chief Education Specialist thanked SANEDI for donating the tool kits to the fifteen schools and has encouraged the educators to make use of the Science Kits in the classrooms. “Let’s ensure that these science kits do not gather dust in the classrooms. We must use them effectively.” said Mr Shwala. [/font][/justify]