The outreach programme reaches rural learners

The generosity of our sponsors enables us to substantially subsidise education programmes for learners from disadvantaged schools.

Our outreach co-ordinator and educator put together a plan on an annual basis for this funding. The plan includes schools visiting uShaka Sea World at uShaka Marine World. It also enables us to take the uShaka Sea World team and some animals to schools in the outlying areas of the eThekwini Metro.

A custom-built trailer with murals showing the different marine ecosystems is hitched up behind an off-road vehicle to negotiate dirt roads. This vehicle includes temperature-controlled tanks for live animals and their necessary life support systems.

A set of criteria have been developed to identify which schools would benefit from the sponsorship. The criteria focus on schools in communities that have not previously visited uShaka Sea World or had uShaka Sea World staff visit their school. The decision was taken to visit every Grade 7 learner at each school, which is the final year at most primary schools.

A choice of lessons has been developed to address the requirements of the Natural Science curriculum.

Each year about 15 000 learners benefit from this programme.

As part of the outreach programme, educators' workshops are conducted during term time at uShaka Sea World and in communities where the outreach team is working.

These are aimed at assisting teachers to gain knowledge and lesson ideas for the new curriculum so they are able to conduct the lessons given by the uShaka Sea World staff back at their schools.