We now know that humankind is having an enormous long-term negative impact on our planet and the diversity of life upon it – the so-called “sixth extinction”. We have the opportunity to recognise this damage and to put in place programmes that will arrest, or maybe even begin to reverse some of the destruction for which our species has been responsible.
At Waterberg Academy, we aim to sensitise our learners to the principal issues at stake, to debate ways in which they can be addressed and to participate in programmes designed to reduce the impact we have on our surroundings.
Why we aim to make a difference
- Globally mankind needs to analyse environmental issues.
- It is vital that concepts such as sustainable development, bio-diversity and how to achieve environmental awareness are grasped.
- We need community-minded citizens who, irrespective of their locality on the globe, will be capable of making a positive contribution in their immediate environment and community.
- We must develop young citizens, who will be champions for the environmental cause and Man’s ultimate survival; they will be eco-wise.
How can this be achieved?
- Develop life skills through practical, hands-on and ‘real world’ experiences.
- Develop too, the concept of empowerment and that making responsible decisions is both vital and critical.
- Qualities such as leadership and innovation need to be encouraged and developed.
- A culture of service beyond self must be both fostered and deep-rooted.
- An understanding that educating for survival requires flexibility and the ability to adapt to the needs of our times.
2005 — 2015 is the UN Decade of education for sustainable development.
Education for Sustainable Development may be defined as “a life-wide and lifelong endeavour which challenges individuals, institutions and societies to view tomorrow as a day that belongs to all of us, or it will not belong to anyone”.
In 2003 Waterberg Academy embarked on their Eco journey which had small beginnings. The newly employed environmentalist started teaching as nature intended, under a tree, and by incorporating subjects like technology a true “outdoor” curriculum was initiated.
In 2005, after thorough investigation and planning, Waterberg Academy’s Eco Vision and Mission was formulated and implemented – all under the watchful eye of Eco Schools (Limpopo) WESSA.
An extensive portfolio detailing all the school’s Eco activities was submitted for auditing and resulted in the school’s first “Green Flag” in recognition of our efforts.
Since then Waterberg Academy’s consistent efforts and even more stringent audits and portfolios have resulted in the following awards:
- 2006: Eco Schools Green Flag Status (only 2 schools in Limpopo)
- 2007: Bronze Certificate
- 2008: Silver Certificate
- 2009: Big Green Flag – Merit Award
- 2010: Gold Certificate
- 2011: International Status Flag
- Platinum Award
- 2012: International Status
- 2nd Platinum Award
Waterberg Academy’s Eco Status serves as a symbol in the community to be environmentally friendly and manage the immediate resources. Major focus points are to inform learners about local and global trends and “management” of our precious planet.