AECI Eco-Schools Water Education Project 2020 - Modderfontein

AECI Eco-Schools Water Education Project Modderfontein

Learners using the watering cans they received instead of a hosepipe at Ipontshe Primary School.


WESSA Schools Programme.....................................5 Aligning to national, continental and international agendas for systematic change.............................6 AECI Supported Eco-Schools: A partnership over 3 years.......................................................................7 Project information....................................................8 Focus area deliverables in the 3 years..................9 Situating the project...............................................10 10 AECI Eco-Schools in Modderfontein................11 Beneficiary update/report.....................................12 Plannedactivities....................................................14 AECI Eco-Schools Water Education Project Narrative report.......................................................17 Summary of projects over 3 years........................18 The COVID-19 Response Strategy.........................23 Response to social, economic and environmental challenges in Modderfontein................................24 AECI Modderfontein Water Education Project Statistics and Figures for COVID-19 Response......27 Stats and figures for 2020.......................................28 Significant successes over 3 years.......................30 Challenges..............................................................32 Lessons learnt..........................................................33 Funder acknowledgement....................................34

AECI Supported

Eco-Schools: A partnership over 3 years that has yielded great results.

Organisational details

Name of the organisation: WESSA

Author of report: Cindy-Lee Cloete

Position in organisation: Programme Manager: WESSA School Programmes

Contact number: 064 752 0598



AECI Modderfontein 2020

WESSA Schools Programme

We are the sole and proud implementor of the four WESSA International School Programmes (Eco-Schools and Eco Campus, LEAF, and YRE), together with a variety of other programmes which include Entrepreneurship Education, Early Childhood Development and Sustainable Schools in Rural Communities. These programmes we implement on behalf of government and the private sector, and they make a critical contribution to youth development in South Africa . Funding and support by AECI has enabled us to truly embody People Caring for The Earth and further our quest to become champions of the environment and achieving a more sustainable South Africa for all.


The philosophy of the WESSA Schools programme has always been informed and underpinned by the understanding of the environment as a multi-dimensional concept as depicted by the diagram below. Within the WESSA AECI Water education project we used the same approach.


Mobilising public/private participation in addressing socio-economic issues – mitigating impacts on ecological infrastructure and human life

Align projects to relevant local and global agendas



Support teaching and learning in schools and communities through action learning

Empowering Youth and developing skills to become enviropreneurs in sustaining livelihoods


Web of life

AECI Modderfontein 2020 5

Aligning to national, continental and international agendas for systematic change

political facets of lifeonour planet. Thiswill develop the necessary skills and competencies we require to empower ordinary citizens to take action and work towards these common goals. We ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities which will contribute to better socio-economic landscapes in our communities. Connecting with concrete relevant social, environmental, economic and political issues, teachers, learners, gender inequality, management of water and sanitation, alternative sources of energy, sustainable economic growth and peace and justice at local and national levels. Integrating these 3 policies with the AECI Modderfontein Eco- schools project enabled a community in Tembisa to connect to complex agendas in the context of real-life situations which has meaning to them. The project enabled sustainability to be entrenched in the everyday realities of learners, students, teachers and the larger communities. Inparticular, the foci of theAECI fundedproject are climate change and water conservation. Climate Change is a big focus in the National Development Plan particularly for those vulnerable to the effects of climate change on health, livelihoods, water and food, with a disproportionate impact on the poor, especially women and children. While adapting to these changes, industries and households must reduce their negative impact on the environment. This will require far-reaching changes to the way people live and work. The project contributed to the nurturing of 21st century skills that the next generation of leaders will need for careers of the future. The project is also directly linked to UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goals focussing on most of the goals shown below.

The Eco-Schools Programme and in particular the AECI Modderfontein project respond to important policy frameworks and agendas such as South Africa’s National Development Plan 2030 (NDP), the African Union’s Agenda 2063 as well as UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Globally, strategic developmental agendas are set to improve the quality of life of people as well as for different stakeholders to collectively work towards a common purpose and common good. The WESSA Eco-Schools programme is one such partner that focuses on teaching about these crucial plans and agendas so that people can gain a deeper understanding of how they can practically contribute to make them a reality. The agendas we particularly align ourselves with are the South African National Development Plan, the African Union’s 2063 Framework and the international 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The AECI Modderfontein Eco- schools project focused on six themes which are high on global and national development and environmental agenda. These include water, sanitation, waste, food security, climate change and energy efficiency. The environmental action projects that were implemented in relation to these themes align to the National Development Plan which calls for a just transition to a low carbon economy, waste minimisation and food & nutrition security. WESSA Eco-Schools believes that our practical approach to teaching and awareness about these three (3) agendas will foster a greater understanding about the interconnectedness between the social, economic, environmental and


AECI Modderfontein 2020

AECI Supported Eco-Schools: A partnership over 3 years

AECI has partnered with WESSA since 2017. Ten schools were identified within close proximity of the AECI Modderfontein operation. The project has yielded great results over the last three years, with highlights including schools independently organising large scale community awareness campaigns, acknowledgement of the project in local community media and innovative action projects by all schools involved.

Eco-schools was implemented in South Africa since 2013 by WESSA. The programme is aimed at creating awareness and action around environmental sustainability in schools and their surrounding communities as well as supporting Education for Sustainable Development in the national curriculum. With over 50% of the content in some CAPS subjects being environmental in nature, Eco-Schools makes a positive contribution towards improving education in South Africa. WESSA in partnership with AECI implemented the Eco-school programme which consists of three structural elements - The Seven Steps Framework, the Eco-Schools Themes, and Assessment which enables the school to be eligible for an award. The school implements an environmental project using the seven steps framework. To be successful the programme requires support from school leaders and the School Governing Board. Whole school involvement is imperative as well as long-term commitment and the willingness to involve students in decision-making. Improving school curriculum through education for sustainable development.

The themes that were implemented at the ten schools in Tembisa are:







AECI Modderfontein 2020 7

Project information

Name of project: AECI Eco-Schools Water Education Project

Project Manager: Lameez Eksteen

Duration of Project: (as stipulated in the agreement) 3 years

Total Value of Grant: *R 1 671 813 over 3 years:

Year 1: R 469 492 Year 2: R 578 039 Year 3: R 624 282


AECI Modderfontein 2020

Focus area deliverables in the 3 years

2 1 Support 10 schools in Modderfontein, Gauteng, to become well- functioning Eco- Schools. Strengthen educators’ teaching of environmental topics in the CAPS curriculum. 4 3 5 Facilitation learner experiences in, about and for the local environment. Monitoring and Evaluation. Developing action projects that make a tangible difference at schools.

Learners’ increased learning and deepened knowledge and understanding of the local environment.

Improved application of environmental education at schools, leading to increased environmental action.

Improved school and community environment and school management through one additional action project per year.



Increased commitment by learners to take positive and concrete steps towards daily sustainable practices.

During the project inception, a Field Implementation Workbook (1 for each of the 10 schools) was compiled by the Project Coordinator and Project Manager, which was used to document full record of all project activities and elements of the stated outcomes. Through all planned school visits, as well as the Educator workshop, the Project Coordinator recorded information and evaluation data, as well as challenges and achievements by the schools. These records are subject to WESSA’s internal project implementation monitoring system that assists WESSA to monitor all Eco-Schools in terms of their challenges, achievements and lessons learnt

AECI Modderfontein 2020 9

Situating the project

The tenAECI Eco-Schools are situated in the Ekhuruleni DistrictMunicipality in theModderfontein and Tembisa regions . Issues that affect these areas include poverty, unemployment, pollution and severe water limitations. Modderfontein and Tembisa are large townships situated to the north of Kempton Park on the East Rand. Overpopulation in these areas has led to the over consumption of both finite and infinite resources and have impacted tremendously on service delivery. Social challenges like waste not being collected then turn into environmental issues and risks by way of pollution hotspots, creating an unhealthy and unsafe living environment for community members of all ages. Local entrepreneurship has grown tremendously to help the local economies in these communities, but without the right assistance and guidance, a lot of the waste of these businesses end up on the streets and pollution hotspots especially close to schools because learners form a big part of the clients of the local entrepreneurs. The 10 AECI Eco-Schools have selected their Eco projects to directly address these kinds of socio- ecologic issues in their school and immediate surroundings to ensure a healthier environment for themselves and their families.


AECI Modderfontein 2020

10 AECI Eco-Schools in Modderfontein

We have stabilized our relationship with all 10 schools. The eco- committee at each of the schools are actively involved in managing successful action projects. Each of the schools have worked on 6 projects in total covering: Recycling, food gardens, water conservation, sanitation, climate change and school grounds. These projects will continue well beyond project closure.




1. Emfundisweni Primary School

Green Flag


2. Ipontshe Primary School

Green Flag


3. Endulweni Primary School

Green Flag


4. Edleen Primary Schools

Green Flag


5. Chloorkop Primary School

Green Flag


6. Welamlambo Primary School

Green Flag


7. Birch Acres Primary School

Green Flag


8. Umthambeka Primary School

Green Flag


9. O.R Tambo Primary School

Green Flag


10.Moduopo Primary School

Green Flag


Gauteng Department of Education handing over the awards.

Teacher at Moduopo receiving their Bronze bronze award at the award ceremony in 2018.

Uthembeka Primary receiving their bronze award at the award ceremony in 2018.

AECI Modderfontein 2020 11

Beneficiary update/report

People that benefitted from the funding provided by AECI over the last 3 years:

Total number of direct beneficiaries

Total number of indirect beneficiaries targeted for this year though AECI funding: 30 000

Total number of indirect beneficiaries reached to date: 29 213

Total number of beneficiaries reached to date: 3 271

targeted for this year through AECI funding (1 July 2017 – 30 September 2020): 3 000

YEAR 1 1 000 YEAR 2 1 000 YEAR 2 1 000

YEAR 1 870 YEAR 2 1130 YEAR 2 1271


YEAR 1 8 300

10 000



10 000

11 491


YEAR 2 9 422

10 000

The equity target and achievement to date:


40% 40% 30% 25% 10% 10%

Children (Vulnerable)

Children (Orphans)

Youth (18-35 years)

15% 15%

Adults (36-59 years)

5% 4%


Number of beneficiaries targeted Number of beneficiaries reached to date


Elderly (60 years and Older)

South African Born Chinese




African Coloured Indian

Number of beneficiaries targeted: Number of beneficiaries reached to date:













Number of beneficiaries targeted

60% 40% 65% 35%


Number of beneficiaries reached to date

Number of beneficiaries targeted


Number of beneficiaries reached to date

*No beneficiaries with disabilities


AECI Modderfontein 2020

Lessson Plan at Umthambeka Primary School.

Educators workshop at Ipontshe Primary in February 2019.

AECI Modderfontein 2020 13

Planned activities

Workshop: Cluster workshop for educators and groundsmen to plan projects for the year to start implementing

Support visit 1: Project monitoring and evaluation

Support visit 2: Completing audits and Eco-Codes



An additional environmental project for the first year was the implementation of vertical gardens at each school.

Each school was provided with 3 wheelie bins for the collection of plastic, paper and cans to start recycling stations as a project.

Workshop was well attended, and projects related to waste and food security were conceptualised.

Waste & Food Security

Year 1:

The focus was on sanitation awareness as well as making the school’s ablution blocks more beautiful by placing signs up about health and hygiene. Tippy taps were installed close to the ablution blocks for learners to wash hands. Underneath each of the tippy taps, where the learners wash their hands, a bucket was placed to catch the water and the support staff then used this captured water to clean the ablution blocks after school each day.

All first visits were implemented. The monitoring and evaluation of the previous projects were identified to establish what worked and where we need to improve to help plan the new Eco- schools year.

The workshop was completed, and the schools chose water and sanitation as their second-year theme.

Year 2:

Water Conservation & Sanitation

We reflected on the previous two years’ progress. Teachers shared their best practice experiences. They brought along their results of the eco-audit and together we decided that the focus will be on climate change and school grounds. This gave an opportunity to co-develop two action projects for each of the schools to implement.

We visited the 10 schools to evaluate the implementation for the previous year. We learnt from the experiences and used this to improve implementation during the last year of implementation. We also used this information towards our exit strategy.

Unfortunately, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 schools were closed. A new COVID related strategy was conceptualised.

Year 3:

Climate Change & School Grounds


AECI Modderfontein 2020

Cluster Workshop 2: Consolidating portfolios, planning for project sustainability after close-out.

Support visit 4: Continue with implementation of projects

Support visit 3: Start implementing projects

Project implementation successful. OR Tambo Primary schools was particularly successful and collected: White Paper – 168kg Green Plastic bottles-10kg Clear bottles- 40kg

All schools submitted portfolios and received awards. Fundraising for Eco-school’s project through recycling project.

Project implementation successful. Green Plastic bottles-10kg Clear bottles- 40kg

All schools submitted portfolios and received awards. Fundraising for Eco-school’s project through recycling project.

Each school received Jojo tanks, water canisters, posters and gardening equipment.

Project implementation successful.

• Assisted educators with developing lesson plans and lesson presentation. • Developed activities linked to formative and summative assessments. • Assisted learners to develop/ enhance their self-study skills and emotional intelligence. • Promoted Social Emotional Learning as the heartbeat of the classroom. • Used project-based learning to focus on quality education in the form of skills, knowledge and values education. • Each school is supported to establish and maintaining a sustainable food garden. • Learners are empowered and equipped with skills to grow food at their homes promoting food security.

• Developed a student-centered approach to social distancing. • Delivered a COVID-19 awareness programme on five schools. • Resources delivered masks, sanitizer, handwash, infrared thermometers, hand sanitizer stand and a hands-free hygiene system. • Demonstrations with teachers and learners. Learners taught how to manage their own personal hygiene routines. • Developed a management plan for healthy classrooms and toilets. • Assisted schools to develop a waterwise school management plan. • Established drinking water points

An adjusted portfolio criterion was shared with schools.

throughout the schools. • Provided water saving handwashing facilities.

AECI Modderfontein 2020 15

Vertical Garden lesson at Chloorkop Primary School

Birch Acres learners and teachers joyful about the water saving equipment they received.

Signage in bathroom at Umthambeka Primary School.

Learners washing hands and saving water to re-use in the garden at Edleen Primary School.

Jojo tank installed at Moduopo Primary.


AECI Modderfontein 2020

AECI Eco-Schools Water Education Project Narrative report

The 3-year journey of the AECI Eco-Schools project in Modderfontein started in 2017. Ten schools in the Ekurhuleni district were chosen with assistance from the Department of Basic Education officials and the AECI team as an effort to uplift the communities around AECI’s area of operations in Gauteng.

The 10 AECI Eco-Schools attended a workshop where they were introduced to the six AECI Eco-Schools themes (Waste, Sanitation, Climate Change, School Grounds, Health & Wellbeing and Water) specifically aligned with the needs of the schools and the communities in a pre-assessment generated by WESSA and AECI . At this workshop, the teachers agreed that their social and environmental issues and risks are linked to these six themes and they all unanimously selected the Waste and Health & Wellbeing (food gardens) theme to start their AECI Eco-Schools 3-year journey.

The AECI Eco-Schools Modderfontein Projects was designed to respond to:

AECI Good Business Practice

Focus on Education

Specifically address


Transformed schools and communities

• Adhere to BBBEE codes • Responsible social upliftment and community development • Positive impact on

Environment Education for Sustainable Development.

• Water issues in communities • Pollution in communities • Climate Change mitigation and adaptation.

with sustainable practices which contribute to the SDGs.

the environment and communities in which the company conducts its business: Modderfontein and Chloorkop.

AECI Modderfontein 2020 17

Summary of projects over 3 years

Project name

Eco-School Theme

Aligned SDG



Planting herbs and a medicinal plant to support indigenous knowledge systems

Biodiversity and Nature

Community and Heritage

Health & Well being

Food garden

Health & Well being

Making compost

Health & Well being

Water saving


Reusing grey water


Harvesting rainwater


Sanitation & hygiene awareness

School Grounds

Health & Well being


Conducting water audits for Maths to determine water used Conducting energy audits for Maths to determine electricity used


Climate Change


Building climate simulation model

Climate Change


Electricity saving

Climate Change



AECI Modderfontein 2020


learners who were encouraged to initiate their own vegetable gardens at home. This assisted the combat of food insecurity in the communities. Although the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) supplies school learners with daily meals, the AECI funded food gardens supplemented where there were shortfalls. This was important in combating malnutrition which affects attendance, attentiveness and learner performance. All schools received vertical gardens and learners were taught to identify the different seedlings they were working with. In addition to planting food crops, learners also planted herbs and medicinal plants. Teachers used this as an opportunity to teach learners about medicinal properties of plants and linked it to indigenous knowledge systems. As part of a showcase of best practices within the Eco-Schools programme, Modoupo Primary school was featured in a WESSA International School Programmes promotional video. Click here to watch the video or visit com/watch?v=Tz5GhFXfydo. We interviewed the school’s head girl, who is also the leader of the Eco-Club, and Mrs Lephalala, their Grade 4 Eco-teacher, who both spoke about their specific projects and the impact that the project have in the school, community and as a teaching tool. The AECI WESSA Eco-Schools project was also featured in the EnviroKids magazine Term 3, 2019 (Vol 40.3).

In year one, each school was provided with 3 wheelie bins for the collection of plastic, paper and cans to start recycling stations as a project. Throughout the recycling projects we have built a strong relationship with a local recycling collector who collected recycling at all 10 schools. The schools participated in a competition ran by the collector and through this competition learners were encouraged to contribute to the collection of recyclables and learn more about waste reduction in the process. To date 5 274 kgs of white paper has been recycled by the 10 schools over the 3 years. Schools received much needed stationary and supplies in return for the goods collected. The recycling campaign was more than just a clean-up of the schools. By engaging in recycling activities, teachers and learners were encouraged to consider the effects of their daily actions on the broader community and shifted their mindset around waste. The additional environmental project for the first year was the implementation of vertical gardens at each school. The gardens supported the schools’ kitchens and served as live demonstrations for

AECI Modderfontein 2020 19


The monetary savings could be used for other priorities on the school. This focus on water and sanitation encouraged behavioural change amongst staff and learners, valuable in a water- stressed country.

In year two, the focus was on water conservation and sanitation . There remains an issue of water wastage and water shortage in Tembisa as a whole and when municipal water cuts are implemented, learners are released to go back home because the school cannot supply this basic need. Due to these water issues, water points were identified at the schools where water dispensers for drinking (either in or outside the classrooms), tippy taps (close to bathrooms) for washing hands were strategically placed and we started installing Jojo tanks to capture rainwater to be used when water is not available through the municipal supply. WESSA assisted further by educating the learners about the importance of saving water and how it can help sustain the environment. WESSA also encouraged learners to bring plastic bottles from home and the Eco-team to manage the collections in their classes and classify them . The water saving projects kicked-off with schools conducting water audits and maintenance on infrastructure. The water saving equipment were then installed and implemented. Collectively, the schools saved 48.3% of water or 1280 kilolitres of water which is estimated at R121, 810.


At the start of year three, we initiated two additional projects. These were Climate Change and School Grounds . The schools were working towards their eco-audit and the initiation of new projects. The schools worked towards developing energy saving projects and linked energy to climate change . We demonstrated in a teacher workshop a climate simulation model which were to be replicated in the classroom to showcase the effects and impacts of climate change. Unfortunately, the President’s announcement to close schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic hindered the plans significantly. External organisations were not allowed on schools even after they reopened. This was because schools needed to quickly catch up with time lost teaching curriculum. It is then that we developed the COVID-19 Response Strategy to respond to the Department of Education’s three top priority areas. The strategy was endorsed by DBE and funders. We officially implemented the strategy on 14 September in Gauteng Province.

Water wastage at Edleen Primary found during the Eco-audit.

Dumpsites such as this was targeted in and around participating schools.

Community Clean up in Tembisa.


AECI Modderfontein 2020

Three schools in Tembisa independently plan a community clean-up and awareness campaign.

Learners of Moduope Primary collaborated with two schools in their area to clean up their community.

Moduope Primary receiving resources to strengthen their food gardens and water project year 2.

AECI Modderfontein 2020 21

Each school received two hands-free hygiene systems, handsoap, hand sanitiser, masks and themometers.


schools include members of the eco-committees and broader such as learners, teachers, parents, surrounding community members, principals and governing bodies. The ten AECI Modderfontein Eco-schools have formed a network of schools that are implementing environmental projects. Moduope and Emfundisweni Primary Schools has adopted and are mentoring other schools in Tembisa. They are starting environmental action projects on the schools they are mentoring. This is meaningful and valuable outcome as it shows that project successes are going beyond the project scope. To illustrate this, three schools in Tembisa, Jiyana Secondary School, Moduopo Primary School, a AECI-funded school and Phutumani Primary School in partnership with Ekurhuleni Municipality and WESSA hosted a holistic Environmental Awareness Campaign. The focus of this campaign was centered around changing the community mindsets on solid waste management. The learners from the three schools participated as stewards initiating change in their community.

Resources for the COVID-19 Strategy were delivered to AECI Modderfontein Eco-Schools. This included water canisters, and gardening resources. The resources for COVID-19 Readiness are masks, sanitizer, handwash, infrared thermometers, a hand sanitizer stand and a hands-free hygiene system. The hands-free hygiene system was custom made for easy access and use by school learners. This first visit was delivery only. Due to restrictions we were not allowed to engage with a big group of learners. We however managed to do demonstrations with teachers and provided them with learning support materials such as posters and guidelines. We’ve invested significant time over three years to build a solid foundation with the stakeholders of the ten schools . They have confidently taken ownership of their six environmental action projects. This was significant as we have prepared them for the end of the funded period and the start of their independent project management. They are capable and equipped to manage their projects on their own. The stakeholders that will take over at the


AECI Modderfontein 2020

The COVID-19 Response Strategy

A reworked and trimmed curriculum coupled with ensuring health and safety of the entire school community will be a challenging task for teachers. How will teachers be supported to focus on quality education and ensuring the health and safety of the school’s community? Water and sanitation are the biggest needs for schools to be ready to reopen. Resources for the constant supply of these 2 basic needs can be a problem in schools and can thus cause unsafe conditions. Social distancing, with the number of learners currently in classrooms, will be a serious challenge. Ensuring inclusion and equity – making sure all schools, especially the most vulnerable have access to the right tools and resources in this global crisis. The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has identified the need for schools to be reopened in order to save the 2020 academic year. The national recovery plan includes a staggered approach for learners to return to school and have set out clear plans for how this must be done.

TheCOVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected howwe implement our current Eco-Schools projects. More so, it has affected educational systems worldwide, leading to the near-total closures of schools. This is especially the case for fragile education systems and the negative impact will be more severe for disadvantaged learners and their families. Distance learning, open educational applications and online learning is not possible for all learners due the huge digital divide in South Africa. COVID-19 readiness for more than 23 000 of our public schools is proving to be an enormous challenge with so many of them experiencing water shortages, resulting in poor sanitation. With overcrowding, infrastructure and sanitation problems in many schools in South Africa, the plan to reopen schools requires bold leadership and planning. Food security in schools and communities has noticeably become a major challenge during this time. Good health is imperative to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and thus we need to urgently ensure food security at schools.

Eco-Committee at Chloorkop Primary

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Response to social, economic and environmental challenges in Modderfontein

To support the DBE Schools Recovery Plan, the WESSA Schools Programme has identified 3 priority areas that we can focus on to ensure the successful return of schools without an exponential growth of Covid-19 in schools.

Skills education

Lesson plan support

Assessment tools

Engaged, competent and well-informed citizens

Continued journey of quality education

Tippy taps

Life long, practical skills

Safe water points

Health and wellbeing

Sanitation plan

Food gardens

Awareness points

Response to local and global social, economic and environmental challenges


AECI Modderfontein 2020

Learners at Ipontshe Primary school washing their hands

Moduopo Primary receiving their COVID-19 resources.

AECI Modderfontein 2020 25

Welamlambo receiving their COVID-19 resources

Eco-committee at Edleen receiving their resources.


AECI Modderfontein 2020

AECI Modderfontein Water Education Project Statistics and Figures for COVID-19 Response

50 10 20 20 20 10

10 20

Sanitiser (in litres)

Schools Implemented

Hygiene Systems Delivered



















Hand sanitiser stands








o d

o n s

Food gardens (Established from scratch) Food gardens (Revived or enhanced)

4 3




Lesson plans/ Guidelines/ Posters


Hand soap (in litres)


Learner at Moduope Primary School.

Delivering at OR Tambo.

Learner at Uthembeka Primary School.

AECI Modderfontein 2020 27

Stats and figures for 2020

Food gardens (Revived or enhanced)


Drinking water points

Food gardens (Established from scratch)




Hand sanitiser stands


Lesson plans/ Guidelines/ Posters


Hygiene systems



129 Schools

Food Tunnels


Gardening Tools


50 Shields



1054 Hand soap (in litres)



Sanitiser (in litres)



AECI Modderfontein 2020

Birch Acres learners showing off the water saving resources received.

Educators session at OR Tambo Primary.

AECI Modderfontein 2020 29

Significant successes over 3 years

All the schools managed to collect recyclables and filled all three recycling bins which were collected by a WESSA appointed collector. The recycling project was a great success and is still ongoing and maintained by all schools 5274kgs of white paper has been recycled, schools were remunerated with stationery and equipment to be used on the school.

Whole school and community buy-in and ownership.

Environmental education is applied through the CAPS curriculum.

The introduction of vertical gardens at all 10 school as an additional project to boost the nutrition programme at the schools was a great success.

Teachers are more confident to deliver content that is environmentally related.

All the 10 schools are a part of a competition that our recyclable collector runs amongst schools. They receive resources such as stationery and school equipment in exchange for the recycled goods.

Increased understanding of local, national and global environmental contexts.

Six environmental action projects were development and implemented. Four were successfully maintained by all schools whilst the last two were interrupted by COVID-19 pandemic.

Teachers have incorporated environmental content knowledge during lessons, specifically math, science and languages.


AECI Modderfontein 2020

Teachers and learners display improved understanding of environmental challenges, evident in their confidence when communicating environmental content knowledge and their related actions towards sustainable lifestyles.

Learners are becoming more environmentally conscious and are making small changes in their daily lives to create a cleaner sustainable planet through e.g. waste management.

The water savings project resulted in a 48.3% reduction of water use or 1280 kilolitres of water which is estimated at R121, 810. The savings allowed for schools to focus on other priorities.

Ability to apply environmental knowledge to real world contexts.

The ten AECI Modderfontein Eco-schools have formed a network of schools that are implementing environmental projects. Moduope and Emfundisweni Primary Schools has adopted and are mentoring other schools in Tembisa.

Schools have showed commitment and dedication in improving their school environments by maintaining the existing projects and starting new environmental action projects.

The schools are minimizing their impact on the environment and are contributing positively to the environment by changing learner and teacher behaviour.

Improved teacher capacity in terms of strongly linking action projects with curriculum requirements has been seen in the classroom.

AECI Modderfontein 2020 31


• Three of the schools teacher coordinator changed jobs making it difficult to continue with the project and form new relationships with the new teachers that were taking over the project. The WESSA project team met with the principals at each school to discuss the challenge, where after the principals appointed new Eco-Schools coordinators to champion the AECI Eco-Schools projects. • Eco-Committee members are sometimes not active on WhatsApp which delays our communication. The solution to this was following up with a phone call to the teachers that did not respond to our communications timeously. • The service provider, a local businessperson, did not meet his contractual obligations to install Jojo tanks at the ten schools. We approached another service provider who completed the installation of the Jojo tanks. This led to a time delay to wrap up year two implementation. • Teachers turn-over made it difficult for us to communicate. We’ve mitigated this by having contact details of at least two to three contact people per school. We also connected new teachers to the bigger WESSA Eco-Schools network which they can draw on for support. • The outbreak of COVID-19 is delaying our project implementation, but we have made provisions through scenario planning and the COVID-19 Response Strategy.

Learner demonstrations at Welamlambo Primary.


AECI Modderfontein 2020

Lessons learnt

The Whatsapp group is the best method of communication with teachers. They are more responsive. It helps if we communicate actively and share relevant information on the group.

To ensure commitment from teachers we have to communicate regularly and express our commitment to improve their school.

Having more than one teacher as a contact person for each of the schools is essential. This allows for an uninterrupted handover and continuation of the projects when teachers leave the schools.

4 visits per school gives little time for us to monitor and evaluate projects, we need to increase the number of visits per school.

Learner handwashing demonstrations at Ipontshe Primary.

Teacher demonstrations at Birch Acres.

AECI Modderfontein 2020 33

Funder acknowledgement

The WESSA International School Programmes team extends a heart-felt thank you for your commitment to making the Eco-Schools Programme so successful. It was the vision of the WESSA Board to enable schools to become centres of sustainable development excellence. Your generous support helped make our vision a reality. As we continue to grow as a Programme, please know that partnerships with our funders are vital to the success of the Programmes.

You are truly appreciated.

Contact us

Donavan Fullard General Manager: Schools Programme Tel 011 462 5663 Cell 076 790 4989 Email Cindy-Lee Cloete International School Programmes Manager

Tel 011 462 5663 Cell 064 752 0598 Email

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