Western Cape Schools Inspired by Minister's Call for Community Involvement | Western Cape Government


Western Cape Schools Inspired by Minister's Call for Community Involvement

13 August 2006
'Adopting' an informal settlement; cleaning up the neighbourhood; repairing vandalised school buildings; a special treat for the elderly; pampering nurses; parents reading to their children, teachers visiting the homes of absent learners; motivational talks; the launch of an education foundation; and parents teaching knitting and crochet skills to kids.

This is all happening during the inaugural week of the Western Cape Education Department's (WCED) Community Schools Initiative, from August 14 to 18 - involving some 200 primary and high schools, more than 200,000 learners and over half-a-million members of the community throughout the province.

This fresh initiative, which will be an annual feature under the overall banner of the Learning Cape Festival, is the brainchild of Education MEC Cameron Dugmore. In a message to schools earlier, he said "this is a long-term initiative to encourage schools to examine their relationship with their communities".

The WCED set aside some money to incentivize activities for this initiative. The volunteering schools could receive up to R1,000, which they could use as seed funding to support any simple approved creative project proposal.

For example, the Grade 7 learners of Wespoort Primary School in Mitchell's Plain will, on Monday, paint the school benches; and on Tuesday the parents will be cleaning and painting the toilets.

Good news too for the nurses of Lentegeur Clinic is that the "pampering team" - the Grade 7 learners of Lantana will be out in full force on 17 August to share their pedicure, manicure, massage, facial and hair care skills with the staff.

Mrs O Williams of West Ridge Secondary School is excited about their plan to "Adopt an Informal Settlement" and thanked MEC Dugmore "for inspiring this worthy cause". "We feel that knowing more about them will help us to understand them and their plight. We will also appeal to our students and the community to donate food, clothing and bedding on a regular basis for the people at the camp".

Esselen Park Secondary School in Worcester is situated nearby a community of flats dwellers. They plan to paint and repair rooftops and windows, and provide each household with a letterbox.

Said MEC Dugmore: "The role of schools within the communities and vice versa is a vital one. Many schools are subject to devastating vandalism and other security threats."

"The managers of those schools are trying to provide safe and peaceful havens for their learners within high fences. In the process often a divide is developing between the school and its very own lifeblood or support system: its neighbours.

"I am convinced that it is through inspired partnerships and the conscious cultivating of social capital that we will find the power to make huge and real strides in learning and development in this province."

"I believe in this development of social capital to such an extent that I have made it the governing principle for the current financial year - embodied in our slogan "Each one teach one - together building a learning home for all". "Elkeen leer iemand - saam bou ons 'n leertuiste vir almal"; "Omnye ufundisa omnye - sakha kunye ikhaya lokufunda lomntu wonke".

"In terms of my vision for the Learning Cape as a Learning Home for all, we will have not just learning schools but also learning homes, learning streets and learning communities. We need a community mobilisation such as we have never imagined it before."

For more information on the WCED's Community Schools Initiative, or to find out how you can contribute to this worthy cause, call CSI Project Manager Anne Schlebusch 083 272 4346 or 021 4672528.

  • You can e-mail us as well at helper@pgwc.gov.za.
  • Donations in kind (eg paint and cleaning materials or magazines) as well as in cash will be gratefully received.
  • If you want to help with literacy (eg reading to young children or listening to them read) call 0800 45 46 47.
  • Your nearest school is only a few kilometers away: give them a call. Maybe you can lend a hand in the garden; help reclaim some land; manage a re-cycling project; help with safety and security.

MEC Dugmore will be visiting the following schools on Monday 14 August:

  • 08h00 - 09h00: Addressing Assembly Macassar High School, Bind Avenue.

  • 09h15 - 10h00: St Paul's Farm School
    (MEC to help clean-up grounds around river, with 147 learners and staff. Other initiatives include reading classes and skills development for parents.)

  • 10h15 - 10h45: Noluthando School for the Deaf
    (Assist learners and community starting vegetable tunnels. Other initiatives include launch of ABET centre for deaf learners; and launch training programmes for community in computer literacy and business skills.)

    (Directions: From Faure, take Firgrove road towards Kuilsriver. Get onto Baden Powell Drive, onto N2. Take Spine Road exit of N2 at Military Base, turn LEFT, get to circle, turn RIGHT, 1st robots. Turn RIGHT and after 2.5km, on the right-hand side.)

  • 11h00 - 11h45: Alta du Toit Special School at the Sarepta Old Age Home
    (Foundation phase learners to sing to residents of Sarepta old age Home.)

Gert Witbooi
Media Liaison Officer
Office of the MEC for Education
Tel: 082 550 3938
Email: gwitbooi@pgwc.gov.za.

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