Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE National Association of Secondary Schools Heads (Nash) has encouraged schools to revive inter-house competitions as a first step towards reigniting sports interests among learners.
Nash president Arthur Maphosa said while schools are facing workloads in preparing examination classes, pupils not sitting for examinations should be encouraged to participate in sporting activities when they are not in class.
Maphosa said some pupils did not return to school when they reopened after the long Covid-19 forced break, and warned that there was a danger of losing more kids due to lack of extra-curricular activities, which keep them busy.
The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education reported last week that 24 percent of learners did not return to school after reopening due to early pregnancies and some schoolboys venturing into artisanal mining as well as failure by parents and guardians to pay fees.
Learning institutions were closed in June after the country recorded a spike in Covid-19 cases that resulted in the Government imposing a Level 4 national lockdown to contain the rising numbers.
When the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) gave the green light to resumption of sporting activities last month, there were calls to find strategies which would drive interest at the grassroots level where schools feature.
Maphosa said besides getting learners back to sport for their physical development, participating in sport also helps them manage discipline.
“Naturally, this time of the year has lots of workloads in terms of preparing for exam classes. There’s less focus on sports while there are non-exam classes which I believe have no problem doing activities. Already, these youngsters have lost two years of enjoying and discovering their sporting talents, and as such, we can’t continue to deny them opportunities to excel if they are talented. There are some who are talented and can earn a living from sports.
“There are also the Africa Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Under-20 Games coming in December. Maybe if schools do inter-house competitions they can invite sporting associations for talent identification. I understand that because of Covid-19, it becomes a challenge to do inter-schools competitions, but it’s possible to have interhouse.
“Another benefit of having sporting activities is that learners are kept busy and have no time to partake in social ills.
It also becomes easy to manage their discipline if they are playing sport,” said Maphosa. — @ZililoR