Simalaha Teacher Training Workshop, Zambia

The CITW Zambezi team is thrilled with the new partnership between themselves, Peace Parks Foundation and the Simalaha Community Conservancy.  As part of our partnership, CITW will be establishing their  Eco-Club Programme in 12 schools in the  Conservancy, which is supported by Peace Parks Foundation. We would also like to extend our thanks and gratitude to MAVA, COmON Foundation, GDG, and Resilient Waters, which have generously donated funding towards this project; we are looking forward to the ongoing development of our programme and the positive updates ahead.

It was decided that instead of only offering teachers selected as Eco-Mentors (two from each school), participation in the training, we would include 10 teachers from each school in the workshop. This ensures that our programme and the teaching methods explained are understood by the majority of teachers in a school, thus creating a greater impact. Furthermore, it would ensure a backup of trained teachers in the event of Eco-Mentor absences and transfers between schools. 

We had an incredibly successful day at Mwandi Primary School, where we hosted teachers from four schools: Mwandi Primary, Sikuzu Primary, Simungoma Primary, and Sooka Primary; also in attendance were PTA members, and a representative from the DEBS (District Education Board Secretary) office.

The workshop touched on various aspects that are important for carrying out the Eco-Club programme, including looking at types of intelligences, learning techniques, different teaching methods, chart-making, and ways of grouping children. A large part of the training was spent on an actual lesson from the curriculum where teachers themselves could experience the 4-stage Flow-Learning method used in the CITW programme.  This tried and tested technique keeps children engaged and active throughout the lesson, and is interspersed with a number of games/activities intended to keep energy and interest levels alive, while demonstrating the importance of purpose-driven fun activities as a way of reinforcing the concepts learnt. The day culminated in the planting of indigenous trees using Groasis boxes, donated to all schools in the Simalaha Conservancy by Peace Parks, encouraging the planting and continual monitoring of trees – all to help with reforestation.

With much laughter and enthusiasm throughout the day, teachers left with new knowledge, and in the words of one of the participants: “The workshop was a success.  I learnt some new approaches to teaching and how to keep all learners active”.

CITW is looking forward to carrying out the next two workshops and thereafter being more of a presence within these 12 schools, helping to facilitate “sustainable conservation through leadership development”.

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