The Department of Basic Education gave a brief presentation on the status of sports in South African schools. One of the aims of the Action Plan 2014 was to ensure that all children remained effectively enrolled in schools until the age of 15. To this end, the Department aimed to create safe learning environments at all schools, and to encourage mass participation in sports through the establishment of school leagues. Physical education had been allocated time in the new curriculum. The Department was working closely with organisations such as the RedCap Foundation and SuperSport to encourage learners to become actively involved in school sports.
There followed a fairly long discussion in which Members attempted to obtain a more detailed picture of the situation than that which the Department had provided.
Members’ key issues were: the Department’s intention to establish a league system for school sport; problems relating to the availability of sports facilities; and the difficulty of combining rural and urban schools in a single league system.
The Chairperson said that the Department of Sport and Recreation would not be presenting, as had been planned, as Mr Vivian (Vernie) Petersen, Director-General, Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA), had passed away recently. She asked for all present to stand and observe a moment of silence. She then handed the floor to Mr Themba Kojana, Chief Director, Department of Basic Education (DBE).
Department of Basic Education. Presentation
Mr Kojana said that one of the goals of the Action Plan 2014 was to ensure that all children remained effectively enrolled in schools until the age of 15. To this end, the Department aimed to create safe learning environments at all schools, and to encourage mass participation in sports through the establishment of school leagues. He said that physical education had been allocated time in the new curriculum; two hours per week in the Foundation phase, 1.5 hours per week in the Intermediate phase, and 2 hours per week in the Senior and Further Education and Training (FET) phases, where it was incorporated into Life Orientation. The DBE was working closely with organisations such as the RedCap Foundation and SuperSport to encourage learners to become actively involved in school sports.
Mr Kojana reminded the Committee of earlier projects of the DBE, such as My 2010 School Adventure, which had been intended to mobilise learners and teachers in support of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, to provide opportunities for learners to participate in arts and culture exchange programmes, and to promote knowledge of other countries through football. 15 000 learners and educators had been given the opportunity to attend a World Cup match, the tickets being sponsored by Adidas.
The Directors-General of both the DBE and the SRSA had identified the establishment of school leagues as an appropriate way to encourage mass participation in school sport. In the past, most school sport had occurred in the form of one-day events not supported by regular practice or regular competitive encounters with other schools.
The Chairperson invited Committee Members to ask questions.
Ms D Rantho (
Mr Kojana replied that lesson plans would be aired on SuperSport in a regular time slot. SRSA also had “mass participation programmes” in which volunteers in schools across all the provinces trained educators.
Ms B Mncube (
Mr Kojana replied that the SABC had been approached, but there had been “issues,” whereas SuperSport had offered assistance.
Ms Mncube wanted to know what the Department’s plans were for training Intermediate, Senior and FET phase educators in sport, and also whether any specialist sports educators were a part of its plans.
Mr Kojana replied that the restructuring of sport as a “stand-alone” subject area would allow principals to assign an educator to sports training. He did not know how the training of higher-phase sports educators was progressing.
Ms Mncube wanted Mr Kojana to explain what mechanism, if any, was in place to ensure that the time allocated for school sport was actually used for sport. Was there a memorandum of understanding between the Department and local governments to provide good-quality and accessible facilities?
Mr Kojana admitted that the problem of municipal-educational cooperation was large, but that such cooperation was highly important.
Mr S Plaatjie (
Mr Kojana replied that there would.
Mr Plaatjie stressed that municipalities would have to be involved in the provision of facilities, because most schools did not have the funds to provide their own. He wanted the Department to tell the Committee which schools had received the R40 000 legacy prize from Coca-Cola (see presentation document), and in which province these schools were located.
Mr Kojana agreed to make this information available to Committee members. He said that there had been winners in all of the provinces. Mr Plaatjie said that it was important that rural and urban learners compete against each other and that there should not be separate competitions for rural and urban schools.
Mr J Gunda (
Mr Kojana replied that the tickets were awarded on the basis of a competition involving the collection of cans and bottles for recycling, which were more numerous in urban centres. For this reason only, most of the tickets had been given to urban schools.
Mr Gunda was not satisfied with this response, saying that the design of the competition itself precluded rural areas from having a realistic chance of success.
Mr Plaatjie supported him.
Mr Kojana accepted the point.
Mr M de Villiers (
Mr Kojana replied that the Department put the “same impetus” into these events, although the fact that
Mr Kojana said that each province was allocated a budget to cover such expenses as transport, clothing and equipment. Different provinces would naturally have different transport costs because of their different geographies.
Mr De Villiers requested that the Department brief the Committee on the operation of school leagues.
Ms M Boroto (
The Chairperson asked which Department was responsible for the maintenance of sports facilities. She also asked whether there was a system of record-keeping to trace the progress of talented learners in the school sport system.
Mr Kojana replied that talent tracking would only work if a league system, i.e. a sequence of regular events, was established.
Consideration of draft report
The draft report was adopted without discussion or changes.
The meeting was adjourned.
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