By Dean Phara
Grade Six learners from all the five districts of the Free State province battled it out for top honours in the Baswa Le Meetse (Youth in Water) provincial competition at Bon Hotel in Bloemfontein on Friday 08 February.
Organised by the Department of Water and Sanitation in conjunction with the Department of Education, the competition is open to grade 6 learners in a bid to raise their awareness of water conservation and water resources protection issues. A total of 25 primary schools from across the province participated in this year’s edition of the competition with the top winners in each of the five categories proceeding to the national finals.
The competition consisted of five categories namely, drama, music, poetry, praise poetry, and poster under the theme, “Water is life, Sanitation is dignity”.
For each category there were prices for the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st positions which saw the 3rd placed school receive a price of R6000 the 2nd placed school receiving R8000 and the 1st place school receiving R10 000.
The category for Poetry saw Kgeledi YaManka Primary School claiming top prize and a prize money of R10 000 with the second place worth R8 000 going to ST, Mary’s Primary School. Ikemisetseng Primary School received R6 000 for their 3rd place finish.
In the Music category, Mafikaditsiu Primary School came first followed by Lebelo Primary with Phamisetsang Primary School getting the 3rd place.
Lebelo Primary snatched the first prize in the Drama category while Selokgele Primary School came second.
In the category for the Best Poster, Teboho Primary School snatched top honours with Amohelang Primary School came second and Malakabeng Primary School third.
The winning learner, Sizwe Ndlovu (11), from Teboho Primary School based in Qwaqwa, was proud to have created the poster that was adjudged to be the best among all the others.
“It took me two months to create this poster and I’m very proud that it got first position because a lot of people waste water and I wanted to show them the importance of using water appropriately without wasting it,” Ndlovu said.
The Communications Officer in the Free State Department of Water and Sanitation, Marcus Monyakeni, mentioned that the aim of the competition is to teach children how to use water in a responsible manner hence the competition is mainly for Grade 6 learners.
“The aim of the competition is to encourage children to use water sparingly and also inculcate the culture of water conservation and hygiene in their day to day lives,” said Monyakeni.
In the competition, learners are judged on how they project themselves on stage, the props used as well as the content.