EASTERN CAPE LEARNERS TALK SOPA - 2012-03-06 02:26:00
EASTERN CAPE LEARNERS TALK SOPA
Eastern Cape pupils demonstrated a high level of interactive argument on the state of affairs of the province. The 30 matric learners from all six districts and two metros debated Premier Noxolo Kiviet’s State of the Province Address (SOPA) in front of guests that included Education MEC Mandla Makupula, Health Department MEC Sicelo Gqobana and about 100 other Grade 12 pupils who came to watch and root for their peers.
SOPA Schools Debate was held at the Provincial Legislature, Bhisho on Saturday, 03 March 2012. These learners took turns at the podium, mesmerising their audience with emotional appeal, persuasion, and first class contextualisation on some of the issues entailed in Premier Kiviet’s address which included rural development, crime and education. They praised government where they deemed fitting. At the same time they were not shy to criticise and advise where they disapproved.
First place winner in the English First Additional language Nonkululeko Sibangela from Holly Cross High School in Mthatha, commended the government for its introduction of the new Rural Development Agency to come to effect on April, 01 2012. Meanwhile she argued that failure to address the provision of water and electricity for rural areas could hamper progress as those are critical. She also raised concerns on the level of skills availability for those who are meant to benefit in rural projects, to use resources provided.
Nevertheless she agreed there is hope. “The province has potential but in order for all these things to be realised there is a need to fast track and strengthen skills development.” She said.
Public speaking is central in every country. Through it, young people acquire the social, and emotional skills and abilities required to navigate through life. The SOPA Schools Debate Programme encourages participation of youth in dialogue that elicits a shared understanding on social and economic issues affecting the province. It is also aimed at exploring the youth’s collective opportunity to harness the rich legacy of the Eastern Cape as a home of great leaders, and to build shared leadership for the future.
The day was also meant to motivate and guide these learners as they are just a step towards higher learning. Dr Noluthando Toni who heads the Training and Learning Centre at Fort Hare University pleaded with the pupils to indulge in extensive research when choosing a career as they had displayed in their debate topics. Dr Toni advised them to strive for the best in their studies, saying good results is the only thing standing between them and progression of their studies. She called their experience of the day as a “practicing ground” for what is stored for their future.
Education MEC Mandla Makupula applauded the learners for their high level of public speaking. He said the whole exercise has not only enriched their public speaking ability and use of language, but also encouraged their participation on issues concerning development of the province.
The debates were conducted in all four official languages spoken in the Eastern Cape, namely isiXhosa, English, SeSotho and Afrikaans. They are the initiative of the Office of the Premier in partnership with the Provincial Department of Education. Winners were handed each two trophies, one for the school and the other for the individual. All participants including the winners received certificates signed by Premier Noxolo Kiviet and MEC Mandla Makupula.
Winners in their categories are:
English first additional language
1. Nonkululeko Sibangela - Holly Cross High
2. Bulelwa Nongogo - Nyanga Senior Secondary
3. Athenkosi Ncombo - Sandisiwe High
English Home Language
1.Eileen Kaba - Queenstown Girl's High
2. Neesha Bhana - Clarendon Girls’ High
3. Mabaso Majiza - Grey Boy's High
1. Nelisiwe Lehasa - Mariazell High
2. Araba Aidoo - Mthatha High
3. Alana Stiglingh - Port Alfred High
1.Lekena Kekeletso - Lehana Senior Secondary
2. Lukhozi Bulelwa - Mariazell High
3. Tubatuba Mamoya -Ramafole Secondary
1. Onazo Luvuzo - Mariazell High
2. Sim Booi -Greame College
3. Bulumko Athenkosi Maqhungo - Hector Peterson
Issued by Eastern Cape Provincial Government
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