During my research phase, I saw many plastic bottle tops spread along the beaches of Lake Victoria and in streets. This infers to other parts of the World.
Weighing the impacts of plastic bottle caps on our environment, I prefer saying that they must be arrested other than just being collected for greater control.
In Tanzania, mathematics has remained the toughest subject in schools despite many pupils wishing could manage it. Parents and relatives and the governments have always encouraged children to pursue mathematics and science subjects without success. I believe that math's is the simplest subject.
According to the President's Office - Regional Administration and Local Government Ministry a total of 1,842,513 pupils were enrolled in grade 1 in our 16,088 public schools. These students counts up to 99, and do basic mathematics - (addition, subtraction) up to 99, according to the syllabus. Also, 1,345,636 pupils were enrolled in pre-primary classes which are also attached to public primary schools. These pupils need to be assisted with counting aids.
It is believed that, for a pupil to manage mathematics at middle and higher levels should have a strong foundation of mathematics at the primary level where counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers are principally taught and easily understood by using counting aids.
My idea is to ask every grade 1 pupil to bring 100 plastic bottle caps at the 'School Plastic Arrest Box' from which I will take them to make a counting aids for pupils. Parents, care givers and the general communities will also be encouraged to collect these plastic bottle caps on behalf of pupils.
Imagine that, engaging only 2,000 public primary schools (12.4 per cent) with average of 50 pupils in grade 1, I will be able to arrest 10 million plastic bottle caps (i.e. 2000 schools x 50 grade 1 pupils x 100 plastic bottle caps). And this is very possible within a year.
While collecting plastic bottle caps at schools, teachers will be asked to tell pupils by showing them examples of the deadly effects of them on our environment so that pupils do not them spread and grow knowing that for creating the plastic free generation. All counting aids will be left at schools and named with specific pupil for tracking in case returned to the environment.
I will place a special Plastic Arrest Box at every public primary school at which all pupils will collect their plastic bottle caps, and our team will get them from it to create counting Aids and give to pupils. Teachers will be collecting caps from destroyed Aids by pupils and place them back to the box.
I have the advantage that, I have been involved in the Survey titled "Experiments to Improve Learning Outcomes in Tanzania" which covered 350 public primary schools for over 2 years. I was a research supervisor and then a coordinator of the study implemented by EDI Ltd on behalf of Twaweza.