Why museums are vital

2019-05-23 06:01
Different high school learners, educators and organisers of the speech competition of local schools, which took place at the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum on Wednesday 15 May.

Different high school learners, educators and organisers of the speech competition of local schools, which took place at the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum on Wednesday 15 May.

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Lwandle and Nomzamo high schools battled on the stage for the first time in an annual speech competition.

The competition, involving the four high schools of the two areas, was organised by the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum, where it took place on the evening of Wednesday 1 May.

The schools taking part were Khanyolwethu Secondary School, Nomzamo High School and Simanyene Secondary School.

The event’s aim was to remind youth and community about the vital role museums play in communities, and to encourage their use.

Some of the topics the learners could choose from included new roles of museums as active actors in their communities, whether there was a role or function for museums in future. Another was how communities can become more involved and be part of our museums today.

One statement has it that South Africans have forgotten about the importance of their heritage and the vital role related institutions play. Learners had to agree or disagree with this, and share their opinions.

Masa Soko, museum manager, said the presentations on the day also formed part of International Museum Day, which takes place annually on 18 May.

“This was a project of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, as part of the museum’s celebrations,” she said.

“The learners had to give their opinions on the different topics. This helped us to learn more about how can we keep our museums relevant and interactive for our communities. Learners had to do research and present on the night which also assisted them in terms of public speaking and research.”

Soko told City Vision it was very interesting to hear what the learners thought, and she was grateful to the schools for their participation.

“This was our first time doing this annual speech competition, and the attendance was encouraging,” she said. “The enthusiasm showed by learners also motivated us to do this annual going forward.”

Amanda Koba, one of the organisers, said the learners had been given about a month to do research on the topics, and to present it on the day.

She thanked educators for their involvement, as this also assisted learners gain confidence and invaluable skills in public speaking.

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