On 4th June 2016 our Annual Speech and Essay Contest Finals were held at the Cane Growers Hall

This year the contest topic was aligned with our theme of social cohesion. There was just one topic given to the learners.

Over two decades into democracy and South Africa continues to experience divisions and intolerance.   What practical ideas do you have to help create a society in which we can accept differences, embrace diversities and co-exist peacefully? 

In responding to the question, you may choose to address one or a range of such divisions in society and you may research and refer to our leaders, from the past as well as writers on these topics.   

The speeches addressed the issue of diversity and how they, as grade 7 and 10 learners see the present social conditions in our country and how they can bring about changes.   It was interesting to hear what the youngsters felt about both the present conditions in relation to our diverse society as well as how they see changes happening. The impromptu speeches were on three topics:

  1. If I had the power I would change…………
  2. Describe yourself
  3. Describe an ideal best friend

These three topics were chosen to see how learners view power, how they see themselves and what is their view of friendship. Again the speeches prepared in 5 minutes without any assistance were amazing.

The learners surprisingly spoke about what is best for the general community and not themselves.

They spoke about humility and modesty and not an exaggerated view of themselves

They dwelt on the importance of lasting friendship and the need for honesty, loyalty, love and helpfulness rather than using friendship to engage in deviant behaviour.

These presentations were very encouraging and gave a good insight into how our youth are thinking and what they see as priorities.

We need to encourage these positive thoughts and to ensure that they grow and remain strongly embedded rather than be lost in the wilderness of growing up.

How can we do this? Can we keep in touch with these children? Do we have their contact details? Can we see the essays and look at what the older ones are saying- do a comparative study. Can we have a session where we can go through these issues and chart out a way forward?

These will be issues that will be taken up by our schools programme.