Winter school programmes

2018-06-28 06:03

Friday brought the second school term of the 2018 academic year to a close – and the start of the winter school holidays.

Debbie Schäfer, provincial education minister, said following a busy examination period this is a much-needed break for many learners and teachers across the province.

She said during this time “many of our schools will be buzzing with various holiday activities”.

Schäfer said it is important that they keep their children safe and occupied during the school holiday period.

“Young people often make unhealthy and risky lifestyle choices because they have limited access to recreational opportunities,” she said.

“This is particularly the case in high crime and gang activity areas. In the course of the next few weeks, the Department of Education will once again offer holiday programmes during the winter school holidays, which include the Safe Schools Holiday Programme as well as winter schools for our Grade 12s.”

Some of the highlights include the Safe Schools Holiday Programme, which aims to providing constructive activities for children while also protecting schools by ensuring they are visibly used during this period.

The programme is aimed at keeping our children positively engaged, entertained and safe, especially in areas where they are at greater risk of exposure to substance abuse, drugs, violence and gangsterism, Schäfer said.

“Each district organises programmes according to the assessed need in the district concerned,” she said.

“This winter, we will see more than 10 000 learners attend Safe Schools holiday programmes.

“Educational programmes on offer include topics such as peer pressure, moral values, substance abuse, HIV/Aids and sexual abuse. Other important topics covered are truancy, gangsterism as well as career guidance,” says Schäfer.

She said a special programme has been designed addressing bullying, sexual abuse, gender inequality and gender based violence.

“Fun activities include team sports, hiking, kayaking, board games, arts and crafts as well as drama and dance classes,” Schäfer said. “A number of stakeholders have come on board to assist us with the various educational and fun activities.

“The programme [involves input from various] government departments and NGOs, the City of Cape Town, Metro Police and the South African Police Service. We are grateful for their support.”

For more information on the Safe Schools Holiday Programme, parents can contact their child’s school or their nearest district office, details of which can be found on the Western Cape Education Department’s website.

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