Game Changing Scottsdene School infrastructure handed over to community

By Premier Helen Zille, Minister Debbie Schäfer and Minister Anroux Marais:

Yesterday,  Premier Helen Zille; Minister of Education, Debbie Schäfer and Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais officially handed over a Game Changing infrastructure development to the Scottsdene school community.

The infrastructure forms part of the Mass participation; Opportunity and access; Development and growth (MOD) Programme, which provides after-school sport and recreational activities to learners from communities where these opportunities are needed most.

The Scottsdene facility is worth over R28 million, and will benefit the communities serviced by Cavalleria, Parkdene and Watsonia Primary Schools, and Bernadino Heights and Scottsdene High Schools. Learners at these schools now have the opportunity to participate in the following activities:

  • Athletics
  • Cross Country
  • Cricket
  • Chess
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Debating Society

The sport infrastructure is complemented by academic and eLearning support. This first-class educational support for learners will be provided by our Year Beyond (YEBO) mentors – a group of dedicated, competent graduates and matriculants who have dedicated a year of their lives to leading other learners in their school careers. Further homework support is provided by the various partnering NGOs.

Learners will also get the necessary life skills training at the clusters. This will include health and career awareness to help learners secure jobs once they leave school.

Safety remains a priority for all the learners and support staff involved.

That is why the Scottsdene MOD Cluster has well-lit promenades linking the infrastructure, so that learners can feel safe on-site, and in the vicinity of these facilities. Our work with neighbourhood watches and the recently launched School Resource Officers (SROs) will further assist to boost security. We will also continue speaking to SAPS about the need for greater resourcing in the areas where it is needed most.

The facility in Scottsdene is part of a group of “MOD Clusters” that will be rolled out across the province. Communities include Paarl East, Atlantis & Manenberg, Franschhoek and Nyanga junction.

These facilities enable a cluster of schools to create an educational environment that is safe, encourages participation, develops skills in sport, arts and culture, and provides the opportunity for quality education and career training.

Premier Zille said: “A key objective of our MOD clusters is to crowd resources into schools. The infrastructure and support will give learners the opportunity to access tutoring, career advice, sports facilities, and the arts. Parents, principals, school governing bodies and the school community now have the opportunity to do their part by encouraging learners to participate and excel. Our government is working tirelessly to create opportunities for learners to be competitive in the world after school”, said Premier Zille.

Minister Marais said, “We encourage excellence and inclusivity in sport and culture through the effective, efficient and sustainable use of our resources, and through creative partnerships such as this. As a result of the partnership with the Education Department we have handed over these remarkable facilities to the community and enabled the conditions for access and mass participation, talent identification and skills development”.

Minister Schafer said, “Sport assists us as a nation in fostering a vision of unity of purpose, social cohesion and inclusivity. These are values that are enshrined in our Constitution. This centre was conceptualized in order to create a safe space for our learners after formal school hours. As a Government, we prioritise sport and constructive after-school activity, youth development and initiatives that bring about safer environments for our learners. Sport not only teaches our learners to maintain physical stamina, but also teaches them discipline, will power and determination. As the Provincial Minister of Education, it is my hope that this new facility will help to develop our young people through excellence in academics and sport.”

Note to Editors: Below are quotes from the Principals of Bernadino Heights SS, Watsonia PS and Cavalleria PS for use.

Mr HT Alexander, School Principal of Bernadino Heights Secondary says “The school and broader community are extremely proud of the world-class facilities that have been built on the premises of Bernadino Heights High School and Watsonia Primary School.  We would like to thank the Western Cape Education Department and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport for the construction of these facilities. We now have a synthetic hockey field, synthetic 400 m track, rugby/soccer field, cricket nets, a tennis court and a pavilion. Our goal is to ensure that learners from the four neighbouring schools utilise the opportunity presented by these facilities, to develop their talents.  How many undiscovered Wayde van Niekerk’s are possibly wandering around?  With the necessary encouragement and coaching, learners’ lives have the potential to be transformed – the excellent sporting facilities being the instrument of change.  It can be the catalyst which can steer the community into a new direction and create a positive environment for learners to excel academically, as well.”

Mrs. F.S. Prince, School Principal of Watsonia PS says “We as a school community are very excited about the development and we trust that it will serve as a major boost for the sporting achievements of our community. We trust that it will keep more children off the streets and busy with extra-curricular activities. This project gives our learners the opportunity to train and use facilities of a high standard.”

Mr H. Carolissen, School Principal of Cavalleria Primary School says “These facilities are a major investment in our youth. It augments well for our future when our learners are afforded the opportunity to hone their skills and nurture their talents at world class facilities such as this. Government should be applauded for this initiative; it can only lead to healthy productive citizens.”