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Primary School Teachers in South Africa believe there should be more plastic pollution education in the curriculum

by Media Xpose
  • Plastic pollution named by teachers as the most important environmental subject for primary aged children
  • A dipstick measure revealed that 74% of primary school teachers would like more training on how to teach environmental and plastic pollution
  • Call comes before official launch of Plastic Changemakers, an initiative designed by The Breteau Foundation, ZAG and Mediawan Kids & Family to inspire over one million primary school children globally to become ambassadors for responsible plastic use

Cape Town, South Africa – 8 August 2023: 93% of Primary School teachers in South Africa believe that there should be more creative and interactive activities around environmental and specifically plastic pollution education for their students. The work was done by The Breteau Foundation, a non-profit organisation with a vision to provide access to quality education for all children, found that primary school teachers need more environmental education resources and support in environmental education – specifically plastic pollution.

Teachers believe that creative and engaging education multimedia resources would be highly valuable in addressing plastic pollution – these results match similar studies in South America, the UK and Lebanon where teachers also believe that teaching using multiple formats including video, reading and activities are more effective.

Ron Mukanya, Director of Sustainability Management at the Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning said “I support the notion of distributing Environmental Education (EE) resources to schools as a means to engage young people as leaders in environmentalism because a combination of cartoons and educational materials comes with inspirational learning activities which as a combo of environmental education methods greatly enhance students’ engagement with environmental and science issues. Education for sustainable development (ESD) equips learners with the knowledge, skills, and motivation to address complex environmental challenges in the 21st Century which links to Sustainable Development Goal 4 on Quality Education”.

This comes ahead of the September launch of Plastic Changemakers, a new initiative by The Breteau Foundation. Collaborating with award-winning global independent animation studios ZAG and Mediawan Kids & Family, this initiative aims to inspire the next generation of ambassadors for change in the fight against plastic.

As part of the initiative, the Foundation has set out to address the clear demand from teachers with a comprehensive and free-of-charge Education Pack that contains a flexible set of ready-to-go lesson plans and activities designed to empower children to affect change.

Created by educational and environmental experts and aligned to curricula, the Plastic Changemakers Education Pack contains five modules for 7–11-year-olds and seeks to equip children with a comprehensive knowledge about plastics and how individuals and communities can use it more responsibly.

Alongside the Education Pack, The Breteau Foundation, ZAG and Mediawan Kids & Family have co-produced an episode of the Miraculous™: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir simply called “Action,” where the characters of the show seek to demonstrate how small efforts can make a big impact in the fight against plastic.

Sebastian Breteau, Founder of The Breteau Foundation comments: “Our international experience in education has shown that children want to see more responsible plastic use in their homes and communities. We want to inspire over one million primary school children to become plastic changemakers, and by equipping them with the right knowledge, we believe we can kick start a global movement on responsible plastic use.”

Emma Becker, Executive Director at The Breteau Foundation adds: “As a former teacher, I know first-hand the pressures teachers face when it comes to finding and preparing resources for lessons. The Plastic Changemakers Education Pack has been created by experts to allow teachers to focus their time wholly on delivering the lessons.”

The Plastic Changemakers Education Pack and “Action” episode will be available on The Breteau Foundation website in September when all educators will be able to download the pack for free and stream the episode. Visit https://www.breteaufoundation.org/plastic-changemakers/ for more information or to register to receive updates.

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