Last week a group of two educators and one volunteer, led by Gebhart Nikanor, set out on a trip to visit seven schools over three days to teach local students about the mission of CCF and how local Namibians can help fight to save the cheetah. The regions visited included the towns of Otavi and Tsumeb which are about 155km and 225km from the CCF centre.
The first day we visited three schools in the Otavi town area including two Primary Schools and one Secondary School. The first two schools we presented to (Otavi Primary and Khorabs Secondary) were in a shared assembly hall that held around 200 students and teachers. The teachers packed the room with the various classes and we saw one group of 5th and 6th graders and then another group of 8th graders from the secondary school.
At the end of the first day we wrapped up seeing another primary school (Shalom School) in a classroom packed with 5th and 6th graders. There were hardly enough seats for everyone to sit, but the presentation was well received and the kids loved hearing about the cheetah. The favorite part of the presentation was the slow motion video of a cheetah running at the end.
Day two of the trip we traveled up to Tsumeb and began the day with two primary schools (English Medium Primary School and St. Francis Primary School) back to back and presented to a class of 5th graders in both cases. Both schools unfortunately did not have assembly halls so the students from other classes grabbed chairs and packed themselves into the back to fill the room with nearly 125 students in each case. Most schools seem to have some sort of assembly hall, but in the cases that there is not one it is a challenge to see all of one grade at one time.
We wrapped up day two by driving 60km out of Tsumeb to another primary school in a little more remote location than the others. This school (Tsintsabis Junior Secondary School) had a nice size assembly hall that fit nearly 200 students for the program. The students were a little more shy to participate but nonetheless seemed interested and challenged by the presentation. The teachers at Tsintsabis were also extremely exited to have the presentation and made sure to invite us back again for next year.
Finally, on the last day we visited an additional Primary school (Nomtsoub Primary School) and saw a lot of 5th graders. This school also did not have an assembly hall so we had to jam into a small classroom for a very intimate presentation. The presentation went off without a hitch and once again the students’ favorite part was the video at the end showing a cheetah running in slow motion. We thanked the students, teachers, and the principal for their time and then set off back to return to CCF.
The Education Outreach Programme reaches thousands of students each year by targeting certain regions and visiting several schools over a 2-4 day period. Each school is left with educational handouts for the students that hear the presentation of information about the cheetah in a fun and interactive format. Additionally, each school is left with several current Pako books and a CCF produced Teacher’s Guide which are placed in the library for students, teachers, and administrators to all make use of.