The South African Schools Choral Eisteddfod draws to a close

The last day of the 2015 South African Schools Choral Eisteddfod (SASCE) National Championships was a remarkable occasion as various musical items, rendered in diverse indigenous languages, filled the atmosphere of the Rhema Bible Church in Randburg on 02 July 2015. South Africa’s First Lady, Mrs Gloria Bongi Zuma, together with Basic Education Minister, Mrs Angie Motshekga, graced the occasion.

In its 15th year, SASCE brought more than 10 000 learners from different cultural backgrounds, and from the four corners of South Africa, together to showcase their singing talent. The event also included, for the first time, learners from Swaziland who were the champions of the Tenor Solo category where Zweli Msibi, a learner from Elangeni High School, dazzled the audience and the adjudicators with his powerful voice. The Malkern’s Industrial School was in 2nd place in the male voice section, right behind the winners, Mthwalume High School from KwaZulu-Natal. 

During the official closure of this year’s SASCE competition held at Gallagher Convention Centre on 03 July 2015, the Deputy Director-General for Social Mobilisation and Support Services, Dr Granville Whittle, acknowledged the dedication and commitment of teachers in assisting learners to perform at a national level. The DDG informed those who were present that the Department of Basic Education is intending to expand the SASCE competition to accommodate learners from the African continent.

Dr Whittle stated that learners who participate in the competition are likely to perform well academically as they are being taught to work together as a team. These learners are also taught the principles of discipline and respect during their training. The participation of learners from inclusive and farm schools continue to rise. This approach is fundamental for enabling Government to breach the inequality gap in the schooling system. The DDG also added that the introduction of the African Union Anthem teaches learners respect for other citizens and cultures on the African continent.

Addressing the audience, the MEC for the Gauteng Department of Education, Mr Panyaza Lesufi, highlighted that the musical talent in schools has improved significantly. Mr Lesufi emphasized that, in order for South African learners to compete with other learners internationally, teaching methods in the schooling system will need to be digitised and more resources need to be made available to groom learners as future leaders of this country.

In conclusion, the MEC reminded teachers that they are the pillars of society and that they should continue with the good work for the benefit of all learners. The event ended with an amazing performance from the 2015 SASCE National Championships’ winning schools.

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