Pupils armed with social skills

Grade 7 Aloe Junior High School pupils in Lentegeur are all set for 2020, having not only received stationery but also social skills to equip them for staying at school.

More than 80 pupils completed a two-day youth workshop, dealing with issues like child abuse awareness, life skills, social awareness, peace and non-violence last week.

The programme focused on preparing the pupils for the next grade and their growing school environment. The intermediate school, the only such school in Mitchell’s Plain, has four Grade 7 classes (with 200 pupils), ten Grade 8 classes (with 436 pupils) and ten Grade 9 classes (with 430 pupils). The Grade 8 classes comprise pupils from surrounding primary schools.

Principal Fay Daniels told the pupils that their parents would only have to ensure that they have a school uniform for next year. The City of Cape Town’s social development and early childhood development directorate staff and ward councillor Goawa Timm bought the stationery items that the Grade 7 pupils would need for next year. The directorate also hosted the social skills workshop for the pupils.

Ms Daniels said these tools were crucial in helping pupils stay in school and limit the burden on parents.

Althea Baartman, head of department for mathematics and science, said the school’s anti-bullying campaign helped pupils to stand their ground and be confident in attaining their goals.

She also said that it went a long way to prevent them from falling prey to substance abuse and gangsterism. “Domestic violence and poor self-esteem contribute to pupils dropping out and bunking,” she said.