Smart pupils ace digital competition

Winning debating team members Grade 6 pupils Mushfiq Thabanie, Abdul Dayaaan Syms and Avela Halu, from West End Primary School, in Lentegeur.

Two Mitchell’s Plain primary schools took top honours in the first-ever Growsmart Western Cape digital competition.

The winners received prizes worth more than R500 000 at a prize giving ceremony at Workshop 17, in the V&A Waterfront, on Friday October 15 and Saturday October 16.

West End Primary School Grade 6 pupils Mushfiq Thabanie, Abdul Dayaaan Syms and Avela Halu won the debating category.

In the mathematics category their schoolmates Aashiq Williams came second and Mu-aawieyah Allie took fourth place.

Pictured left are maths wizards Aashiq Williams and Mu-aawieyah Allie, from West End Primary School. In the middle is teacher Jermaine Kenned.

Principal Clive Arries said he was proud of the pupils’ achievement and that it should be celebrated.

Rowan Coetzee, a Grade 6 pupil at Beacon View Primary School came fifth in the literacy category.

He has always loved reading.

“I read different genres which enriches my vocabulary and helps with my writing skills,” he said.

Beacon View Primary School pupil Rowan Coetzee, came fifth in the literacy category, with his teacher and mentor Leonie Appel.

Rowan said his teacher and mentor Leonie Appel has always motivated and cultivated the importance of reading.

“It can take you places,” he said

Ms Appels said she knows first-hand that children who develop strong reading skills become better writers and excel in school.

The finalists competed online in a safe and controlled environment.

The competition forms part of the Growsmart Educational Programme, an initiative by Growthpoint Properties in collaboration with the Western Cape Department of Education, since 2009.

It started as a literacy competition for pupils in Grades 5 and 6, previously from disadvantaged backgrounds, and has since grown to include mathematics, natural science, story writing and poetry, debating and entrepreneurship.

The Covid-19 pandemic caused major disruptions in education, which necessitated digital transformation globally.

More than 17 000 pupils, from the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Limpopo, use the Growsmart online learning platform of which 2 077 pupils were contestants.

Contestants completed Level 1 and Level 2 of the competition and were assessed on accuracy and time to progress to the semi-finals and finals.