The Sunday News
Meluleki Moyo, Sunday News Correspondent
PARENTS and various stakeholders last week thronged White City stadium to commemorate the Provincial Annual Science Sports Arts Festival (PASSAF), in a three-day event which subjected Bulawayo’s five educational districts to the balances of creativity and talent.
The displays by the school children proved that Bulawayo has got talent. Introduced as a complementary and corroborative initiative to the updated educational curriculum which seeks to promote competency by the then Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Lazarus Dokora in 2016, the festival series are an organised set of special public activities and performance such as musical performances, sport, artistic and even scientific exhibitions.
The event, which ran under the theme “Nurturing learners’ talents through the competence based curriculum”, was celebrated through several disciplines including Science Exhibitions, Food Technology, Heritage Studies, Technical Graphics and Building Technology, Wood Technology, Visual Arts and an array of other disciplines under the Performing Arts and Sport category.
An assortment of 20 gold, 15 silver and 7 bronze medals saw Mzilikazi District outshine its contemporaries with a total of 42 medals. Closely behind Mzilikazi was Khami with 41 medals which comprised of 19 gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze. Reigate and Bulawayo Central took third and fourth position with 30 and 17 medals, respectively.
Last but not least, and putting into consideration the tragedy of geographical fate, Imbizo District trailed behind with just 13 medals.
In as much as most performances were best, some arguably outstood the best with primary school learners outshining their seniors in most respects.
On Mass Displays, Khami’s Malindela Primary stole the limelight, while Mgiqika and Mgoqo primary schools from Imbizo and Mzilikazi, respectively, demonstrated that they have taken beading to professional levels.
Other performances which outstood include the Msitheli High dancers, Gampu and Amhlophe Drummies as well as St Bernard’s Mass Displays.
Speaking on the side-lines of the event, Acting Bulawayo Provincial Education Director Mrs Olicah Kaira said among other benefits, the festivals offer learners a sense of belonging to the school system while fostering group cohesion.
“Added to offering a platform for our ministry to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of the new curriculum especially in terms of learner exit profiles and the assessment of competence achieved, the festivals also go a long way in talent identification and promotion.
“These events are open to the stakeholders and the public at every level, and parents may also want to see what kind of performance their children are engaged in and are welcome to celebrate with learners”, she said.