Members of the Rebuilding and Life Skills Training Centre (Realistic), a community-based organisation in Gugulethu, took educating pupils about Freedom Day to a new height.
They held a Freedom Day Cup competition to educate pupils about the significance of working together, learning while playing, expressing themselves freely and living a healthy lifestyle.
The event held at Mseki Primary School saw more than 10 primary schools from Langa, Gugulethu, Nyanga, Mfuleni and Khayelitsha taking part in the games.
According to Mandisa Ntlahla, a social worker at Realistic, the day-long programme is hosted every year on Freedom Day.
The programme included academic games such as subject science, spell checks, trivia and self-awareness and life skills. “This event is about empowering children to expand their critical thinking capacity through various indigenous and educational games as well as promoting teamwork. Sifunda sidlala. We normally had more than 20 schools on a good day,” she said.
Children run from spot to spot to perform activities. The groups seemed to enjoy themselves. “The programme helps them to be free, to express themselves freely. You know when you are out of the class, with your peers, you become free. Because they are not in a class situation and are learning while playing, they are also able to talk about their challenges at home and elsewhere. It is easy to pick up those who are not happy or abused at home. This is a helpful programme even for teachers,” said Ms Ntlahla.
Teachers were there to monitor their children and help where they could. They also brought food for their children.
Andile Mpontshane from Vuyani Primary School was excited to see children interacting and playing together. Mr Mpontshane applauded the programme and said it has a good effect on the children. He said when it started in 2013 he won it with his children.
“This is fun to them and as teachers we like it because it does not only take them away from the street during this holiday but helps them to know what Freedom Day is. It reminds children about democracy and how it came about. This is a generation that must be constantly reminded that for them to be free it was not easy. They should know that democracy did not come easy but with blood and sweat,” said Mr Mpontshane.
He encouraged other schools who are not part of it to join in.