[Photo Anecdote 12 : Mamfu High School students smiling while holding their own grown leeks]
MAMFU High School is a rural area school, located in GATSIBO District. It can take you above two hours to arrive there, when you come from Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.
At the very first glance from the entrance, you will be impressed by its beautiful green school garden which includes a variety of edible vegetables and fruits.
They grew carrots, onions, cabbages and peppers on the moderate size. Mamfu is among one hundred schools selected from Gatsibo, Gicumbi, Kirehe and Ngoma Districts to pilot Eco-School programme in Rwanda. They grew those vegetables while the Eco-School programme was introduced in this school, in January 2013.
Even if it is a rural area, this school teaches students lessons which help them learn and discover a mixture of worldwide knowledge. With those school gardens, they challenge students with an endless variety of systems through which they learn the principles of ecology, “the language of nature.”
This garden system provides students a living context in which to study these principles : interdependence, diversity, cycles, scale and limits, energy and resources, succession, and sustainability.
Benise Impano, 17, is in senior three at this School. As well as her classmates, she is now testifying that she learnt how to plant vegetables, as an Eco-School student. She said that she became proud of being involved in protecting environment.
Those school gardens transfer knowledge and practice to children’s homes ; students grow their own seedlings at home and pass information about how to grow them to friends and family.
“My classmates and I took part in preparing raised beds and growing cabbages, leeks, peppers, carrots and onions. Some students, including myself, did not know how to grow those vegetables before, but now we even grew them at home”, she noted.
Eco-School programme is one of 26 “Innovation for Education” projects introduced by the Ministry of Education through the Government of Rwanda’s partnership with the UK Government.
[Photo Anecdote 13 : A group photo of Gasange High School students with Patrice Nsengiyumva, a Monitoring and Evaluation in Eco-School programme]
It empowers Rwandan Education Professionals to deepen environmental protection and climate change mitigation through “Eco School Initiatives”.
This is an opportunity to test new ideas to improve the quality of education in Rwanda. The aim is to demonstrate effective and equitable ways of improving children’s learning.
This programme brings students together and they practice how they can get involved to be green schools initiatives. In Eco-school, they use drama, role plays, as a good approach to let students learn about environment and climate change.
Not only this programme created students awareness on protecting environment and mitigating climate change, it also involved teachers, parents, the local authorities and local communities.