On Thursday, 26 September after a gruelling, fun and educational camp of the Heritage Education School Outreach Programme (HESOP), National Heritage Council of South Africa (NHC) in partnership with the Department of Basic Education wrapped up the weeklong heritage experience with an announcement of the first, second, third and fourth place winner of the annual programme at Bela Bela in Limpopo. Sitintile Secondary School from Mpumalanga took first place; Vuyani Mawethu High School from North West (2nd place); 3rd place awarded to Nsikayethu High School from Kwazulu Natal and Theron High School taking 4th place.
This programme is a practical example of what President Cyril Ramaphosa said at this year’s Heritage Day celebration that took place in the Northern Cape, where he encouraged us to host camps for school learners to be taught about their culture, traditions and heritage. The HESOP is shaping lives of young South Africans to become conscious citizens who appreciate the cultural diversity that will mould the unity for which our nation aspires.
This ever-growing annual programme spearheaded by the NHC for the past 10 years, aims to inculcate the culture of self-appreciation and national identity to South Africa’s youth.
This was done in partnership with a number of entities in the public and private sector; SanParks, National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), South Africa Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA), Brand South Africa, National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT SETA).
“This programme continues to be one of the main strategic cornerstones of youth education for the NHC. It raises awareness about South Africa’s cultural and natural heritage to the young people of this country”, says Chief Executive of the NHC, Adv. Sonwabile Mancotywa.
The week-long heritage camp from 23 – 27 September, took place at the nature reserve, Warmbaths a Forever Resort in Bela Bela, Limpopo. On the first day of the camp, participants including educators, provincial coordinators together with the partners, were taken on an eye-opening tour to the Gallows in the Kgoši Mampuru Prison, Pretoria, where they learnt about the history of the only place where executions were conducted in the country. They later in the week taken on a natural heritage game drive in Bela Bela.
Research skills, time management and oral presentation skills are some of the criteria that a panel of the esteemed adjudicators from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nelson Mandela Foundation and Department Military Veterans assessed from the first day of the programme.
Laptops, tablets and other goodies are some of the prizes for the winning schools. These prizes are to help the learners to have tools of access to internet information in this digital era and hone their computer skills.