MOD Sport, Music, Dance and Library Activities for Manenberg Learners
The Western Cape Government is creating opportunities for learners at six schools in Manenberg to access a comprehensive package of after-school sports and arts activities.
Mass participation, Opportunity and access, Development and growth (MOD) programmes were launched at the Phoenix, Silverstream and Manenberg high schools and Downsville, Sonderend and Silverstream primary schools on Wednesday, 9 October 2013.
Manenberg came into the spotlight recently following a spike in gang violence, which resulted in the temporary deployment of Metro Police officers to try to stabilise the situation. The MOD programme at these schools will provide learners with a safe place to participate in sports, arts and culture activities, as well as a place to study between 14:00 and 18:00 every weekday.
Each of the six schools has been assigned at least two sports coaches, who will manage and implement the programme in the coming weeks. Organisers hope the programme will provide learners with a sense of purpose and belonging and will assist in keeping them safe and away from gangs, alcohol and drugs.
Social problems are multi-faceted and complex, requiring a comprehensive and holistic approach, according to Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Dr Ivan Meyer. “Our analysis indicates that social dysfunction and disintegration are primary drivers of anti-social behaviour. The Western Cape Government is targeting the youth, especially primary and high school learners, through the comprehensive MOD programme. Our research indicates that school-going children are most vulnerable to being exposed to negative influences between 14:00 and 18:00. This is to be expected, since in poorer communities children are often without supervision and are primary targets for anti-social behaviour such as crime and drug abuse. There is also a heightened risk of teenage pregnancy.”
MOD centres are located in 181 Western Cape schools in disadvantaged areas with high levels of social dysfunction. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) is working on the programme with the Western Cape Education Department and provincial Departments of Social Development and Community Safety, as well as coaches, co-ordinators and learners.
MOD centres have four primary objectives:
- To give children an opportunity to have fun. The need to have fun is part of the make-up of any child
- To give facilitators and coaches opportunities to identify talent (talent identification)
- To reduce the risk of learners engaging in anti-social behavior
- To improve discipline and learning outcomes of learners
By using a multi-disciplinary approach, the Western Cape Government is slowly changing the social discourse and offering practical solutions to real social problems, using creative, innovative and evidence-based practice. “Over time, we will see the difference that the MOD programme makes in more places,” added Dr Meyer.
Delighted Phoenix High School Principal Mr Shafiek Abrahams added that the MOD programme will give learners opportunities to grow on the sports field, through arts, and in the classroom.