30 July 2012

Selmar Schonland Herbarium Environmental Education Programme

Selmar Schonland Herbarium Environmental Education Programme

SECTION 2 of the National Curriculum Statement (NCS) also known as Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) published 2011 by Dept of Basic Education of South Africa defines life sciences as the scientific study of living things from molecular level to their interactions with one another and their environments. This curriculum gives educators the freedom to expand concepts and to design and organise learning experiences according to their local circumstances and availability of resources. The Selmar Schonland Herbarium Environmental Education Programmes provide teaching and learning resources that are user-friendly and relevant to learners' everyday lives.


Our programmes involve learning through fun and practical hands-on activities. Learners learn to care about, appreciate and understand plants in their environment. The subjects come alive as learners apply classroom knowledge to real life.

Learners learn about the value of plants and the reasons why they need to be protected and conserved.
Our programmes are structured such that they respond to the curriculum needs. Our approach furthermore emphasises education for sustainability and encourages all learners to take responsibility for the environment.

We help teachers to make use of these resources. We share ideas and information to help develop skills and confidence to use these resources to make teaching more fun and relevant.
The Herbarium Education Programme offers a wide range of activities and resources for educators as well.

Phumlani Cimi is willing to assist dedicated educators who wish to develop Learning Programmes to foster environmental literacy and promote Education for Sustainability.


We are grateful to DSG for their generous help with transport of learners to and from the Herbarium. .

20 July 2012

Follow Mandela's steps and make change too!

By: Zongezile Matshoba

Broken windows, bare, dusty floors and leaking roofs in farm schools did not deter those striving to make a difference, responding to the Mandela Day’s 67 Minutes call. Albany Museum, through its Mobile Service unit, and with the support of local businesses and individuals, once again brought smiles and relief as it visited four farm schools to present donations given with open heart. 
THANK YOU, MANDELA: Wilson's Party Farm School in jubilation  
as Albany Museum arrives to celebrate Mandela Day's 67 Minutes 
Unathi Magwaxaza, the Languages Subject Advisor in the Cacadu District of the Department of Education, motivated parents, teachers and learners to follow this example, and to unite and strive for change.

“Mandela is a symbol of change. The challenge today is to do our part to change the lives of others,” Magwaxaza said.

Mandela, 94, has spent 27 years in prison fighting for freedom for all, and dedicated 67 years of his life in the struggle for humanity.

Such change, no matter how little it is, does not really need money, but skills and innovation, especially from parents, Magwaxaza emphasized. She encouraged parents in particular to follow Albany Museum's example, and take initiatives. She also motivated teachers to ensure that resources like the corner libraries that Albany Museum was donating, are used effectively.

A READING NATION: Nozipho Madinda (traditional attire),
presenting corner libraries with books such as
Grahamstown Reflected,
and Ubukhosi Neenkokheli, to four farm schools.  
Albany Museum presented four corner libraries with books from the Museum and other donors. These were given to Wilson's Party, Martindale, Zintle and Manley Flats farm schools. The young learners were also given other niceties like sweets, biscuits, oranges bags and clothes.

Learners who have benefited through other efforts of Albany Museum also shared their stories, proving the possibility that even farm can attain such achievements. Lelethu Mto from Khutliso Daniel High School was fortunate to go to Robben Island Museum in September 2011 as part of the Spring School group.

Nolubabalo Ralo of Ntsika High School traveled to Germany in April this year after being selected for the International Youth Camp by the Nelson Mandela Museum, under the leadership of Lwazi Madikiza who is completing her Masters degree at Rhodes University. Albany Museum has very strong relations with these two museums, Robben Island Museum and Nelson Mandela Museum.

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18 July 2012

Support Albany Museum’s Mandela Day

By: Zongezile Matshoba

Albany Museum will spend its 67 minutes donating four corner libraries with books to four farm schools as part of its Mandela Day celebration on 20 July 2012.

Reading still remains a huge challenge in South Africa. According to the United Nations, South Africa is rated 113 in the world, with a literacy rate of 88%, shockingly below Zimbabwe (95), Lesotho (106), and Namibia (111). This is the proportion of people aged 15 years and above who can read, write, and speak worldwide. This is despite South Africa having one of the highest rates of finincial injection and expenditure in education in the world!

Many books have been written about Nelson Mandela, the former State President of South Africa, that these children will have to read as they grow up. These include the famous Long Walk to Freedom, Conversations with Myself, Mandela: The Authorised Biography, The World That Made Mandela, Nelson Mandela: A Life in Cartoons, and In the Words of Nelson Mandela, to name just a few. To keep his legacy, according to READ Educational Trust, we have to go back to basics, by teaching the learners to learn to read!

The Museum aims to make a significant contribution in order to ensure that farm school children are not deprived of the ability to read, and write. Unlike Mandela and other political prisoners who had to apply for a permision to go the library, these children will have corner libraries at arm's length for them to read, read, and read! This may one day result in reading clubs in these farm schools, initiatives that are mostly promoted by READ and Nal'ibali.  

Join Albany Museum, and make your mark by supporting this initiative. Nozipho Madinda, the Mobile Museum Officer, will ensure that your efforts are acknowledged.