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Western Cape Education announces winners of 'My Covid journey' school library competition

WC MEC Debbie Schäfer Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

WC MEC Debbie Schäfer Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Mar 17, 2022


In celebration of International School Library Month (ISLM), which took place during October last year, Education MEC, Debbie Schäfer, announced a poetry competition, which offered learners the chance to win R25 000 for their school to spend on library resources.

The competition went ahead under the theme of “My Covid Journey” in acknowledgement of the profound impact that the pandemic has had on learners.

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To guide learners in their entries, we asked them the following questions:

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?

Each school was able to collate as many poems from the learners at their school as they liked, to form a single entry for submission. The department received entries from 85 schools, spanning all eight education districts and three languages, exploring themes related to the pandemic – including uncertainty and anxiety, home learning, the impact of safety protocols, and resilience.

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“As we are currently celebrating South African Library Week, I was particularly pleased to see learners indicating that books and reading had helped them cope when they felt isolated,” said Schäfer.

The entries were evaluated by the team from Education Library and Information Services (EDULIS), and the winners for each category were chosen. They were selected based on their creativity, style and originality, along with relevance to the topic and grade-appropriate level of writing skills. Each of the schools will receive R25 000 to spend on school library resources.


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Primary: Sylvia Roux – De Villiers Graaf PS (Grade 7), Villiersdorp, Overberg Education District

Secondary: Cornel van Rensburg – President HS (Grade 12), Vrijzee, Metro North Education District

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Primary: Yusra Jones – Belmor PS (Grade 7), Hanover Park, Metro Central Education District

Secondary: Divine Ndaya – Hottentots Holland HS (Grade 11), Somerset West, Metro East Education District


Primary: Siphokuhle Tshapela – Dalubuhle PS (Grade 7), Franschhoek, Cape Winelands Education District

Secondary: Lindile Shasha – Oscar Mpetha HS (Grade 11), Nyanga, Metro South Education District

The MEC congratulated the winners and their schools on this achievement, adding that she is looking forward to seeing how the prize money will benefit their schools.

Schäfer also thanked all of the principals and teachers who arranged entries from their respective schools and hope to receive even greater numbers of entries in future competitions.

“Most importantly, I thank the learners who chose to share their experiences of the pandemic. It can be really tough to speak about what we are going through, especially when the education sector has taken such strain over the past two years. I am proud of their willingness to share their stories with us and hope that it has been emotionally beneficial for them to do so,” she said.


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