WCED launches Schools Holiday Programme today
One of my biggest concerns during every school holiday period is those learners whose parents work full time and who are left unsupervised at home.
The WCED Safe Schools Directorate has therefore organised various holiday programmes for learners in all eight education districts which were launched today, 18th June 2019.
The programmes are aimed at keeping our children positively engaged, entertained and safe, especially in areas where they are at a greater risk of exposure to substance abuse, drugs, violence and gangsterism. Learners are also taught about values such as discipline, respect and team work and also acquire invaluable life skills.
These programmes are designed to be both fun and a learning experience.
Today I visited the Safe Schools Holiday Programme at Bernadino Heights High School, which focuses strongly on combatting the culture of gangsterism and violence in the area as well as assisting learners to deal with conflict, become role models and building their self-confidence. The programme also includes a number of games and fun activities.
Programmes such as this prevent our children from becoming involved in undesirable activities during the school holiday, while building a solid foundation for leadership. They also act as a deterrent against deviant behavior and encourage our children to take part in team building activities, to play sports and to enjoy a clean and healthy lifestyle.
A number of stakeholders have come on board to assist us with the various holiday programmes on offer. The programmes include various government departments and NGOs, the City of Cape Town, Metro Police and the South African Police Service. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all stakeholders who are working together to better the lives of learners and expand the opportunities available to them.
I would also like to appeal to all parents and caregivers, especially those who have full-time jobs, to ensure that their children are supervised during the remainder of the school holidays. This is an opportune time to promote continued reading and I urge you to encourage your children to visit their local library.
Our parents are key in providing support for our learners and promoting healthy activities as opposed to anti-social behaviour.
Parents and learners can also call the Safe Schools Hotline to request support or assistance. The Safe Schools hotline number is toll-free 0800 45 46 47. We also encourage communities to report any suspicious activities around their schools to the police.
Our combined efforts as Government, civil society organisations, parents and communities at large can help ensure that no children are put at risk during the winter holiday period and our schools stay safe.