Basic Education, Sports team up in schools

The new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on school sport will help learners maintain healthy lifestyles, foster social cohesion and instill a sense of pride and rid schools of social ills like drugs and substance abuse.

The programme will also help the two departments leverage on all available resources collectively and to also contribute transformation in sports at grass roots level.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa said this when they briefed the media at the Imbizo Centre in Cape Town shortly after signing a MoU on school sport, which further clarifies the roles of the two departments in the implementation of the programme over the next five years.

The signing of the new MoU comes after the consultations that were done over the past six months after the previous agreement between the two departments expired at the end of last year.

Sport is such an important part of our education system. It is not only the foundation upon which all of our professional athletes build their careers, but it also fosters social cohesion and a sense of team values among our youth.

It is also a valuable mechanism that keeps our young people away from youth criminality, drug abuse and other social ills by giving them something worthwhile to do and to be proud of, she said.

Motshekga said while not everyone can be good at sport, the game encourages participation in other ways through spectator value and instils a sense of pride and support for ones school.

We are very excited by the developments we are seeing and to grow this partnership for the benefit of our children and our nation.

The fifth Transformation Status Report by the Eminent Persons Group, which Xasa recently released, identified challenges in the running and administration of school sport and recommended that the two departments team up to tackle the challenges.

The new MoU, Xasa said, clearly identifies roles and responsibility that the two departments, as well as other affected stakeholders, would play in the implementation of the programme.

This includes:

The revision of the powers of the Schools Governing Bodies;

A provision for School Committees to be run by teachers;

A proposal for Basic Education and its provincial departments to include School Sport as their strategic output;

A requirement for the Sports and Recreation department to facilitate the establishment of School Sport structures;

The Department of Basic Education will provide basic sport infrastructure while the sports department would facilitate the provision of infrastructure through Sports Trust, National Lottery, MIG etc; and

A provision for teacher unions & SGBs to be included in the ex-Joint National Task Team and also in the ex-Joint Provincial Task Team.

This is indeed a landmark achievement as it is going to strengthen our intra- government relationship with Basic Education. It is further going to ensure that we continue to execute our mandate of delivering junior sport development in schools. Sport development foundation is a problem and the signing of this MoU with amended elements will be able to assist with instilling sport discipline at a tender age therefore giving proper development and training, Xasa said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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