The Community and Youth Development Department continued to pursue its objective of making conservation accessible to all. In the third quarter, the Natural Resource Management, Terrestrial (Level 5) students were deployed back to their work places in their various countries and workstations.
While the Level 5 class was sent for Work Integrated Learning (WIL), the Level 6 Advanced Certificate: Nature Conservation Transfrontier Conservation Management students returned to normal contact sessions after successfully completing the WIL component of their training. The Level 6 class will complete the remaining 60 credits of the qualification before they can successfully graduate in December.
As part of the Level 5 and 6 programmes, the students are taken on various field trips. In the period under review the Level 6 students visited what is known as the Panorama route as part of their Biodiversity Management module. This enabled the students to understand how human activities affect the environment and the role people can play in slowing down negative impacts on the environment, including activities that can lead to environmental degradation and their solutions.
During this quarter, the Department also recruited sixteen Bridging Course students that completed the Foundational Learning Competence (FLC). The 16 students passed the English Communication Examinations and 8 of the students were found competent in the Mathematical Literacy Exams. Ten of the students have now successfully exited into the Field Ranger Training Programme before they complete their journey with the Conservation Security Officers Course, and the Responsible Resource Use supplementary module before they wrap up with a six-week WIL component at Limpopo’s Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism.
Organisations such as African Parks, Mpumalanga Tourism Parks Agency, South African National Parks, Zambia’s Kasanka Trust and Namibia’s Ministry of Forestry & Tourism have requested that the College enroll more of their employees in the Natural Resource Management certificate programme for next year. The 2023 programmes are scheduled to start at the end of January 2023, and we are now engaging with the relevant organisations and their employees, as well as with potential donors to secure study bursaries or part bursaries.