ATC110902: Report on In-loco site visit to Hazeldene Primary School, Mitchell’s Plain

Basic Education

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education on an in-loco site visit to Hazeldene Primary School, Mitchell’s Plain, in theWestern Cape Province, dated 30 August 2011


The Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, having undertaken an in-loco site visit to Hazeldene Primary School, Mitchell’s Plain on 4 August 2011, reports as follows:


1.          Introduction


1.1               A delegation from the European University of Madrid in conjunction with the MITS (Making an Impact Through Sport) Programme was in South Africa visiting schools in the Western Cape as part of the Spanish Volunteering Programme.


1.2               The delegation on Friday, 22 July 2011, met with Hon H Malgas, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education and Hon S L Tsenoli, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on the invitation of Hon C Frolick, House Chairperson of the National Assembly. Members were given a broad overview of the work being done by the volunteers and their achievements in introducing the MITS Programme to schools. Those present at the meeting were invited to attend sessions held at schools in the Mitchell’s Plain region during the week of 1 to 5 August 2011.


1.3               Due to the Parliamentary Programme of oversight by various Committees – only the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education, Hon H Malgas was able to undertake the visit. She was accompanied by the Committee Secretary, Mr L A Brown and the Parliamentary Researcher Mr L Mahada.


1.4               Those present at the meeting at  Hazeldene Primary School included:


·         Mr M Blaauw – Principal (Hazeldene Primary School)

·         Mr A Arendse – Principal (Aloe Junior Secondary School)

·         Mr K Meyer – Programme Director: MITS Programme

·         Ms C Jerome – Head: Social Responsibility Office, European University of Madrid

·         Mr P Laemmle – Exercise Training Academy (ETA) Representative


1.5               This report provides a brief summary of the interaction with the volunteer group during a visit to the Hazeldene Primary School in Mitchell’s Plain on Thursday, 11 August 2011.






2.         Making an Impact Through Sport (MITS) Programme


2.1        The MITS program was a proactive social initiative established by a group of residents concerned about keeping vulnerable young people off the streets and out of the criminal courts and onto the playing fields and sport courts.


2.2        The volunteers, peers and coaches were the key to teaching both sport and much needed life skills. Key to winning the confidence of a child was to show the child how easy it was to change their paradigm to instill personal worth and self-esteem. The MITS program utilized the influence and inspiration of volunteers and local coaches who were closer in age to the children, which made it easier for the children to heed their guidance and instruction. This also made mentoring more affable and easier for the children to be teachable. This relationship is vital for teaching life skills as often teachers and parents were in too much of a position of authority, and there was not an opportunity for honest discussions or learning.


2.3        Since 2009 the MITS Program had implemented numerous multi coded sport festivals and intervention programs for over 20,000 children in and around the            Mitchell’s Plain area. Program members had also implemented club development programs and coaching courses for 250 coaches in the Western Cape.


2.4        Training for the coaches / sport assistants were tailored to gain the necessary “steps” towards greater accreditation in their area of interest. For example, a Sport Assistant may pursue a career in professional coaching. The training presented could also accommodate persons outside the program such as educators, club coaches and community-based instructors.


2.5        Although a relatively newly registered organisation, current members had many years of experience in event management, community and schools programme implementation and community involvement. The MITS Program members had a clear idea of how they wished to develop future sport stars and use sport as a vehicle to combat anti-social activities. The main objectives were to:


·         Re-create a vibrant school & community sport culture to promote a challenging and healthy environment in which young people were empowered to reach their full potential through holistic training.



·         Identify and train unemployed young people from the community with a keen interest / achievement in sport over a 3-year period.


·         Young people trained to become Sport Assistants to specialize in at least 2 codes of sport, with an all-round ability to promote and coach at least 8 codes of sport in 20 schools.


·         Sport Assistants to exit the program with a minimum qualification of National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 5 in one of the following:


ü       National Certificate in Coaching Science

ü       National Certificate in Fitness

ü       National Certificate in Sport Management



·         Engage with provincial sport federations to add value in their program and existing school and community structures


·         Create capacity building opportunities in the communities (training of educators and club administrators and coaches)


            2.6        Members of the MITS program have been instrumental in the implementation of various successful events and interventions program in Mitchell’s Plain and the surrounding communities which included the following:

·         International volunteers coaching at schools, training teachers and coaches and helping with after schools programs via our Partnership with SASTS (South African Students Travel Services), Coaching for Hope (CFH) and the Universidad Europea of Madrid (Spain). With this university, the beginning of collaboration started in 2011. Students and professors from the university support the MITS program through online support during the year and intensive training in the field. Through this collaboration, MITS is also working together with the University of Western Cape.

·         Human Rights Day multi coded sports festival in conjunction with the City of Cape Town as a fund raiser for athletes representing South Africa in Softball and Ballroom

·         Grade R athletics for school and community based educare centres in Mitchell’s Plain

·         Multi coded school sport tournament for primary and secondary schools in conjunction with Vodacom and Mitchell’s Plain schools

·         Grade R 5-a-side football tournament for schools based educare centres to highlight the 2010 world cup amongst the youth.

·         Intervention program at Masibambisani High in the Delft in conjunction with the Department of Sport and Cultural affairs

·         Implementing and officiating the school baseball and softball league.


2.7               Positive developments include the following:

·         Negotiations with the Exercise Teacher Academy to cover the cost of training 50 coaches – of which 25 would be placed in Mitchell’s Plain schools. This would result in job creation as these coaches would be sourced from the community.

·         Negotiations with the University of Madrid (Spain) and the British Government for more foreign coaches for schools to assist with physical education.

·         Negotiated with Mr Price to sponsor more coaches at schools.

·         A new school sport policy to give guidance and create stability at all levels of sport management.

·         Good relations with the City of Cape Town ensure easy access to halls and equipment.



3.       Report on School Sport in District South (Circuit 6 & 7)


            Mr Blaauw of Circuit 7 and Mr Arendse of Circuit 6 engaged with the delegation and      gave a comprehensive report on the state of affairs in respect of school sport in the area. Some of the sporting codes that were doing well included cross-country, pool, table-tennis and drilling. Other sporting codes not doing too well included soccer, rugby, netball, gymnastics, hockey, volleyball, cricket, aquatics, chess and basketball.


            The decline in sporting codes could be attributied to the following:

·         Schools not sending representatives to meetings

·         Principals not attending meetings to address isses

·         Educators not willing to serve as convenors

·         Schools not registered for certain codes.

·         Schools not honouring fixtures

·         Association not having any funds due to schools not paying registration fees.

·         Access to District funds was restrictive in terms of quantity needed and procurement procedures

·         Perceived confusion caused by changing government policies on school sport


            It was important that Principals attended meetings to discuss school sport where agreements were made by all – to enforce school sport at their schools.


4.   Benefits Derived by School

            The Principal gave an overview of the benefits they have derived from the programme in the school and the community at large:

·         Learners got physical education which at present was not provided for within the curriculum and which teachers could not provide.

·         It gave the school additional manpower of physical education trainers which were not provided for by the department.

·         Learners took part in physical education and there were immediate spin-offs, which included:

o        Learners were more attentive in class.

o        Improved discipline at school (`the principal showed the delegation a bunch of knives which were seized from learners before the programme was launched and now they were happy that no learners were found in possession of knives).

·         Learners were able to join competitive sporting clubs in their community.

·         The programme gave them an advantage in interacting with other children in the community, thereby enhancing social cohesion.

·         The programme assisted in creating future role-models within the community.

·         Training unemployed young people as coaches and eventually get employment – the Principal cited examples of young coaches in the community who were products of this programme.

·         It gave an opportunity to the community to have more qualified and competent coaches.

      5.   Challenges

·         A huge challenge remains funding – hardly any budget to run the run school sport.

·         There was a need for specialists in schools in respect of physical education

·         There was a dire need for school sport equipment.


      6.   Recommendations

·         There was a need to have a follow-up meeting with the Portfolio Committee on Sport and Recreation – to discuss the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministers of Basic Education and Sport and Recreation.

·         There was a need to have a special meeting with all relevant stakeholders and associated NGOs involved in sport.


7.       Commitment

·         Ms C Jerome, Head: Social Responsibility Office, European University of Madrid has committed their University for scholarships for pre-graduate courses for well deserving learners who have passed Grade 12 in sport management.

·         This will have to be followed up with the University.


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