The power of plants

2018-11-01 06:01
Learners of ACJ Phakade Primary School had an opportunity to learn about different plant species first-hand, thanks to a programme of the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum.PHOTO: MZWANELE MKALIPI

Learners of ACJ Phakade Primary School had an opportunity to learn about different plant species first-hand, thanks to a programme of the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum.PHOTO: MZWANELE MKALIPI

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Learners of local primary schools are being informed about the medicinal value of indigenous plants thanks to an educational programme of the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum.

The institution is hosting Grade 6 learners of all the primary schools in Lwandle and Nomzamo, who are taken on a tour of the museum gardens.

Here they learn about different indigenous plants that were used for medicinal purposes in ancient times, some of which are still being used today.

The Indigenous Medicinal Plants Programme is specifically designed to complement the school curriculum, as the learners currently focus on plants in the classroom.

It was launched last week, with the museum already hosting learners of Solomon Qatyana and ACJ Phakade primary schools.

Project leader Amanda Koba said some of the plants were used about 4 000 years ago by the Khoisan and some are still being used today.

The plant species include aloe, incense, wild dagga, malva and many more.

Koba explained the different medicinal values of the species, which includes the treatment of influenza, minor burns, wound dressing and headaches.

“Teaching the values of plant species through practicals gives the learners a better understanding of their uses,” she said. “They learn more through practicals than the theory they are taught at school.

“We fuse the learning with some games and, at the end of the session, that which they were taught remains in their memory for a long time.”

Koba added that the learners can now also share the knowledge gained through the project with others in the community.

Masixole Mbanjwa, a Grade 6 teacher at ACJ Phakade Primary, said the initiative helped learners a great deal.

“When they visit the museum’s gardens, they are able to see the plants that we have taught them about in the classroom,” she said.

Mbanjwa added that the same project had been run last year.

“In a way, this acts as a practical lesson for them,” she added, “as the school curriculum currently also focuses on medicinal plants.”

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