City's Youth Environmental School (YES) Programme Runs Year Round | Western Cape Government



City's Youth Environmental School (YES) Programme Runs Year Round

17 October 2006
The City of Cape Town's successful Youth Environmental School (YES) Programme, traditionally held during World Environment Week, is expanding to include other major commemorative days and weeks on the annual calendar.

The first Youth Environmental School (YES) Programme was hosted as part of the Cape Metropolitan Festival of the Environment in 1999, and 2 000 learners attended. Since then the programme has developed into one of the largest environmental education programmes in the country, with just over 30 000 learners attending the week-long YES 2006 programme.

To date, the YES programme has been linked annually with World Environment Week, in June. For the past eight years, scores of primary and special schools across the city have come to expect a fun-filled, out-of-class, quality environmental education experience as they planned their class excursions as part of the YES programme.

Building on the past successes of YES and addressing the need to integrate and expand environmental educational initiatives across the city, the YES team is pleased to introduce an all new, year-long Youth Environmental School (YES) Programme. The same YES which encompasses social, built and natural environments, and will still include the successful World Environment Week programme, has now been expanded to include all major commemorative days and weeks on the annual calendar e.g. Energy Awareness, Arbor, Heritage, Water and Waste Weeks, World AIDS day, and many more.

Working closely with a range of internal and external partners across the city, the YES team from the City's Environmental Resource Management Department is dedicated to make YES more accessible to all schools, learners and educators alike.

Cllr Marian Nieuwoudt, Mayoral Committee Member for Planning and Environment says: "As South Africa is facing enormous environmental challenges, currently and in the years ahead, YES is the perfect vehicle through which our city's youth can gain knowledge, hands-on skills and respect for their environment. The youth of today will have to make crucial environmental and developmental choices in the future and the goal of YES is to equip them to make these choices in an informed and wise manner."

Over the years the City has built sustainable relationships to not only secure the future of YES, but to reach even more learners in the city by providing government departments, business and private sector, as well as NGOs and CBOs a platform to present their environmental programmes to learners in a fun and interactive educational environment. The emphasis on empowering and capacitating educators around environmental issues will also be renewed in the 'new' YES Programme.

In celebration of National Marine Week (16 - 20 October), the 'new' YES kicks off with a Marine and Coastal programme. This includes an Educators' Workshop, as well as a comprehensive coastal programme for Grade R to Grade 7. Learners will be "edutrained" on Metrorail's Edutrain about sharks on their way to Simon's Town to view and learn more about penguins. There is also a beach programme held on different days at various beaches around the city, with a focus on sandy shores, rocky shores and whales. For the younger children, there is an exciting, interactive programme at the Two Oceans Aquarium.

The YES Programme will be designed to fit in with the school calendar and is supported by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), with the New Curriculum Statement at the core of its initiatives. It is also aligned with the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014).

Issued by:
Directorate: Communication and Marketing
City Of Cape Town
Tel: 021 400 2201
Fax: 021 957 0023

Media queries:
Lindie Buirski
Environmental Education Co-Ordinator
Environmental Resource Management Department
City of Cape Town
Cell: 084 629 9305

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