Initiative aims to upskill pupils

The City’s social development and early childhood development directorate runs a soft skills programme at Vukukhanye Primary School in Gugulethu which focuses on various life skills topics for pupils from Grades 4 to 7.

The Soft Skills Programme is one of the projects focusing on different groups as part of the directorate’s broader substance abuse prevention programme.

The programme enlist the services of a team of graduate social stream professionals like social workers, psychologists and occupational therapists to help pupils develop their communication skills, build their self-esteem, understand how to resist peer pressure, learn appropriate social behaviour focusing on respect, and lead healthy lives.

In hosting these workshops the community family officer appointed by the directorate found that a lack of facilities, such as school library, was a concern and had a negative impact on the development of the pupils.

The family officer, from the directorate’s Klipfontein district, took the initiative and contacted Breadline Africa, a non-governmental organisation promoting literacy and numeracy at schools that need assistance to start libraries.

The partnership led to the organisation donating books and other equipment to start a school library. The library was recently opened.

“By interacting with the pupils at ground level, we are able to identify potential problems earlier and seek solutions before they develop into more complex matters. Through this early intervention, the officer was able to seek the assistance from an organisation and together they have created a learning environment where pupils can have access to information.

“This is in line with the City’s strategic objective to build a safe and opportunity city,” said the City’s mayoral committee member for social development and early childhood development, Suzette Little.