By Staff Reporter
Ella du Plessis’ Energy Club plans to raise funds to conduct field trips and buy materials to build their own models of energy-efficient technologies. The club also hopes to enter their work into various science competitions.
The club’s primary activity will be to champion energy-saving behaviour and ideas at their school through continually raising the awareness of the other staff and learners.
The club was established two months ago as part of the “REEECAP: Energy Efficiency at Schools” project, initiated and coordinated by the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN).
While Namibian citizens learnt of the staggering news of an 18 percent hike in electricity, a group of learners and teachers from the school gathered to celebrate their commitment to energy saving at their school.
The project came to an end on March 31after it had examined the electricity use at five schools in Windhoek, compiled recommendations for energy efficiency and implemented a series of awareness- raising and energy-saving activities at a few schools.
“Forming the club at Ella du Plessis and helping the learners perform an energy audit was one of several activities that involved working with students to raise the whole school’s awareness and contribute to actually saving electricity in future,” said DRFN’s Laura Chestnut in a statement.
When the project came to an end on March 31, the entire school community came together for an assembly at which the energy club performed a drama, explained the results of their energy audit, demonstrated smart energy-saving behaviour and presented on the DRFN’s “Energy Trailer”, which is powered by renewable energy and equipped with various energy efficient technologies.
In response to the success of the school assembly, the energy club members decided to make their club official.
Chestnut said the students assigned themselves specific tasks and roles and developed a plan for taking their work forward. One representative of the club even spoke at a staff meeting and persuaded teachers that leaving the lights on overnight should cost the individual culprit, and not the school.
From now on, any teacher caught leaving a light on overnight must pay N$10 into the energy club’s treasury.
On April 16, members of the DRFN project team visited the school to hand over some final materials, including the project report.
Chestnut said she hopes other schools will emulate the successful and practical model of how to save electricity.
She said while keen learners of Ella du Plessis were willing to share their experiences, other Namibian schools should take this as a challenge.