WIN R25 000 for your school by entering a poetry writing competition, talking about your Covid-19 journey. Picture: Western Cape Education Department
WIN R25 000 for your school by entering a poetry writing competition, talking about your Covid-19 journey. Picture: Western Cape Education Department

WCED encourages pupils to share their Covid-19 experience in a poetry competition

By Zodidi Dano Time of article published Nov 3, 2021

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TO celebrate International School Library Month, which took place in October, the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) will again be holding a school library competition.

In the competition, pupils can help their school win R25 000 to spend on school library resources.

The theme of this year’s competition is “My Covid Journey”. Pupils are required to write a poem narrating their experience of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said she chose the theme in acknowledgement of the profound impact that the pandemic has had on pupils.

“I was, therefore, extremely excited to visit Laerskool Laurus, in Oudtshoorn, earlier this year, to celebrate the start of National Book Week, only to find that some of the school’s pupils read poems they had written themselves, including one on Covid-19 by a Grade three pupil.

“I have been particularly struck by the resilience of our pupils, despite the changing learning environment and despite the personal tragedies that so many have experienced as a result of the pandemic. We need to recognise this impact, and also provide an opportunity for pupils to express how they are feeling about it, to help them to heal from the mental and emotional trauma it has caused them,” said Schäfer.

Schäfer said she hoped all schools in the province would participate in the competition, regardless of whether they won the monetary prize or not.

“It is immensely valuable to touch base with their pupils about how they are coping at the moment,” she pointed out.

Suggested questions to guide pupils in writing their poems:

  • How do you feel about the Covid-19 pandemic?
  • How has it affected you and your school?
  • How has it affected your family and friends?
  • How do we move forward from here and how can your school library help?

Schools are invited to enter as many submissions as they please. Six schools will be awarded a prize of R25 000 each to spend on library resources – an increase in prize money from last year. Three secondary schools will receive R25 000 each for winning entries in English, Afrikaans, and Xhosa, and three primary schools will receive R25 000 each for winning entries in English, Afrikaans, and Xhosa.

The closing date for the competition is November 30, 2021. Schools interested in entering can contact Timothy Cloete from Education Library and Information Services (EDULIS) for more information: [email protected]

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