Launch of the Social Incubator Programme
Honourable Cameroon Dugmore, MEC for Education
Chairperson of the Standing Committee, Ms Joyce Witbooi
Honourable Members of the Standing Committee
Heads of Department
Councillors present, leaders of our democratic movement
Management of the Departments of Education and Cultural Affairs and Sport
Educators, Parents and learners
This is indeed an exciting moment for our government and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport in particular, when the community that we serve is gathered to witness the rollout of one of the most important delivery programmes- the social incubator programme.
This programme is the government's strategy aimed at contributing to the reduction of social-ills confronting the most vulnerable - the youth and our communities in general.
The Social Incubator programme we are launching today, is also part of the overall Social Capital Strategy of the provincial government -and our contribution in this regard is targeted at after school hours to fully engage learners and drastically reduce risks and other evil temptations.
This initiative was triggered by the following analytical assessment:
- Lack of access to recreational, sport and cultural facilities
- Decline in active sport participation on code by code basis
- Gang culture centred in the townships
- High rate of alcoholism and drug abuse
- Drop out rate of learners
These are some of the real challenges facing our learners and we hope the introduction of this approach at schools will go a long way in addressing them.
Through this strategy and our programme in particular, we have developed concrete plans to fully engage learners after school hours to ensure that there was something worthwhile to do. We have also created a platform for members of the community to actively participate in the activities of schools in their vicinity.
We are saying that school life must not end at 2 o'clock when normal tuition finishes. We are saying that school community, must cease this opportunity to make a difference. The school facilities must be used optimally to benefit the community.
I am happy to announce that the Department will commit resources to ensure the smooth roll out and sustainability of this programme. To this end, we have already committed R1m for the initial implementation phase.
As part of the programme we are launching, a wide range of organized sport and recreation activities and cultural prgrammes, will be integrated into the school life so that schools become the centre for community life. This programme will include:
- The appointment of cultural animators to run training programmes
- Training educators and care givers for Grade R festivals
- Skills development programmes in clusters for rollout of modified sport programmes for Grades 3-5
- Programmes for senior and community sport
- Innovative promotions around language with exhibitions
- Rock drawings and heritage awareness
- Mobile libraries and storytelling
- Story hours and literacy promotion
- Promotion and development of family trees
To add value to this initiative, we have set aside a budget to employ cultural animators and sport assistants who will be deployed at schools in the nodal areas recognized as flashpoints of violent activity, gangsterism and drug abuse. I will soon be announcing details regarding the human resources needed for this project.
We believe we are setting a firm foundation for a better tomorrow for the youth of our beautiful province. Our contribution to the social strategy has great potential to impact on the community positively but we need the full support of the school community and stakeholders.
We hope to assess the impact of this programme on the identified communities over time. However, we feel the huge challenges of unemployment, HIV/Aids, drug abuse, that our youth face today, could not be the sole responsibility of affected government departments only. We are confident this initiative, with the support of all stakeholders, could soon yield the results we all desire.
I call on all concerned to add their weight behind this initiative so that our youth can indeed face a better tomorrow. I thank you.