Pupils from Berg-Op Academy at Okahandja showcased their home ecology year-end projects recently.
Home ecology teacher Zanandi Maritz said pupils presented their projects in class.
She said the concept was developed after she informed pupils about the projects in early February, then she started with practical classes.
“I teach them crochet, knitting, weaving, bead work and clay work. They can choose any one of these for their project. They work on it during practical periods, but also at home,” she said.
Maritz said this year most pupils opted for crocheting and one did clay work.
She said home ecology is important, because a lot of children these days do not do practical things at home anymore.
She said it is a great way for children to be creative, because home ecology teaches youngsters all kinds of practical things that they otherwise would not have learned.
Maritz said nowadays, many young people view crafts such as knitting and crocheting as a ‘grandma-thing’, but often as soon as pupils realise what they can create, they love it.
“They play PlayStation, video games, watch YouTube and TV. This is exactly the reason why home ecology is such an important subject to have in schools. We, as teachers, have the opportunity to teach the pupils skills that most of them do not learn at home. A lot of times they like it so much, and will be able to start a small business for pocket money – sometimes, even a bigger business when they are older,” Maritz said.
She added that through teaching this subject, she noticed that for many pupils, the practical periods start with a bit of a struggle, because they do not grow up learning these skills. However, once they learn, they really like it.
Maritz urges schools that don’t offer subjects like home ecology and design and technology, to definitely consider including them in the school curriculum again.
Despite it not being a promotional subject, home ecology can help pupils decide what they want to do after school, she said.
“We still have a lot of pupils that are better with their hands then academically. Academics are very important, but so are practical skills. It is also a very relaxing activity to do in our busy world,” Maritz said.
Pupil Zhureez Bezuidenhoudt crocheted two bunnies. When he started, he said he knew nothing of home ecology.
“My teacher taught me new and fun things like knitting, crocheting, bead work and clay work. This subject has helped me develop new skills and tools I can use in the future. My mom says it is important to be independent and self-sufficient in life,” Bezuidenhoudt said.
Lorencia Abel picked crocheting and created a skirt, a mesh shirt, two star plushies, a reverse octopus, a hat, leg warmers and a bucket hat for the end of the year home ecology project.
“I chose this project because it seemed fun and it was something new. I find the class to be very helpful because it teaches you new skills and how to make money at a young age. Crocheting has taught me patience and how to start a business, so that I can make an income for myself and learn how to budget,” said Abel.
Annri Hattingh crocheted multiple things, including a beanie, scarf and a tiny bag.
“I find the class incredibly interesting. I suggest that more people should try it. Honestly, if I could, I would’ve attended this class again. It’s creative, fun and provides the platform to learn a lot of things that I actually might need one day.
“The teacher was wonderful and showed us how to exactly do everything step by step. I love home ecology and you should too,” Hattingh said.
McKayla Husselmann made a crocheted handbag. She said the class was helpful in providing the skill and knowledge needed to make things.
“At first, it’s kind of hard, but when you get the hang of it, it is really easy. It helped me in a useful way, I don’t have to buy expensive items anymore, I can just make what I want from now on,” said Husselmann.
Kian du Plessis made clay jewellery and key chains.
“It is great fun and we learn a lot of practical crafts that make us mini entrepreneurs and give us fun opportunities to learn. I love to create and make something interesting and beautiful. Home ecology has helped me to think creatively and out of the box, because there is always a plan to make,” Du Plessis said.
Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –