A tower garden in production (photo by Mpumelelo Nketsa, 2022)

Agriculture, arts and livelihoods: investigating integrated school learning approaches for improved educational and livelihood outcomes

Rural schools in South Africa face multiple challenges in providing learners with the diverse skills required to advance effectively in modern society. Learners come from communities that are characterised by poverty, food insecurity, unemployment and most do not have the benefit of growing up in households that provide comfort, stimulation and which effectively support learning. Song and choirs can provide an excellent platform for psychotherapy, joyful learning and community engagement. Both choirs and regenerative agricultural activities can develop soft skills such as communication, punctuality, decision-making, systems thinking, and so on. These are skills that can be more effectively developed outside of the classroom. The project will identify opportunities within the curriculum where learners could have exposure to the gardens at the schools; we will co-develop and install food gardens that allow for nutrient cycling and use of grey water; and, we will work with schools where choirs already existed or have been introduced through previous interventions of PSI Molekane. Key deliverables are (1) sustainable school gardens applying regenerative agricultural principles at two schools, (2) active choirs in 5 schools acting as a medium for learning towards sustainable communities and culminating in a choral festival.

Key Themes:
Sustainable Livelihoods
Location: south africa
Principal Investigator: Brigid Letty
Co-Investigators: Bridget Johnsen, Steve Worth, Lunga Dlungwane
Host Organisation: Institute of Natural Resources NPC
Duration: 12 months