GEORGE NEWS - To address the escalation of bullying and violent incidences in schools, the Eden and Central Karoo Education District launched a campaign aimed at dealing with these problems.
One of the strategies was to initiate a competition to actively involve schools in activities and discussions about bullying and its effects on learners. Roger Jacobs, head of specialised learner and educator support and programme coordinator, said that half of the region's 204 schools participated by having an anti-bully week in August.
Jacobs emphasised the importance of continuously fighting the menace of bullying by educating and empowering learners.
"The school social workers and psychologists receive many referrals of bullying and in some cases learners have tried to commit suicide as a result of cyber and psychosocial bullying."
At schools learners signed a pledge against bullying and learners and teachers participated in various other activities and competitions, including best essays and posters, most interesting whistle-blowing box, and best speeches, dramas and rap songs.
Schools from as far as Laingsburg, Haarlem, Plettenberg Bay and Riversdale attended the prize-giving ceremony at the George Museum on Friday 12 October.
The audience was entertained by some of the winners delivering their speech, rap or drama items. The crowd was wowed by talented learners such as the saxophone player Kerwin Albertus of Outeniqua High; the gifted Micheala Weights of Plett Secondary School, who has been on television a few times reciting her poems, and Divine Anderson of the Sao Bras Secondary School, who has won various singing competitions.
Riversdale's Langenhoven High School involved the whole school with more than 20 activities for the week, and they won the prize for the school with the most effective and innovative project. Gary Spaans of Kaskar/Push Car Hire in Cape Town has undertaken to sponsor Langenhoven with soapboxes free of charge so that a fundraiser soapbox derby, which can net between R30 000 and R50 000, can be held in the near future.
Holy Cross, Thembalethu and Colridge Primary Schools delivered their songs and poetry while Parkdene, Bridgeton, Fraaisig and Rosemoor Primary schools were commended for initiating excellent and innovative programmes.
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