By Staff Reporter
CLARENS – After months of gruelling competition from district, provincial right up to national level, the Free State’s Lekgulo Secondary School came out tops in the 2023 Heritage Education School Outreach Programme (HESOP) camp.
The camp was held by the National Heritage Council in partnership with the Department of Basic Education at SANPARK’s Golden Gates Highlands National Park in Free State.
The weeklong camp saw 32 learners from the eight participating schools working tirelessly to prepare presentations on their research work.
In addition to the research topic that the teams had to conduct prior to the camp, they were further given an impromptu topic following a tour of the Basotho Cultural Village. The students learned about the history, traditions and culture of the Basotho people and experienced their authentic hospitality and entertainment.
Kimberley Technical School of the Northern Cape province took second position, followed by the North West’s J.M. Ntsime Secondary School and Jim Chavani School, respectively.
All participants, who were given titles of Heritage Ambassadors, received certificates and medals courtesy of the South African Heritage Resources Agency.
The overall winners received laptops, the runners-up tablets, while the third and fourth place winners received smartphones.
The executive – core business – at the NHC, Dr Thabo Manetsi, said: “HESOP seeks to engender a cultural of deep understanding, appreciation, and education about the importance of heritage for the benefit of the current and future generations. Congratulations to each and every participant of this programme. You’re all winners for your selflessness, dedication, and commitment throughout. As born-frees, it is in your hands to utilise the knowledge you have acquired from this programme about our cultural heritage and place heritage as a strategic resource in your communities through the available digital platforms.”
For the past 14 years, the National Heritage Council has been spearheading this programme with the aim of inculcating the culture of self-appreciation and national identity.
“Indeed, Heritage is a shared resource. Here we are as entities in the public service together utilising Heritage as a strategic resource to build the future generation of this country. Thank you once again SANParks, South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) and National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). As an entity alone, we wouldn’t do this without your support and contribution towards this education outreach programme,” Dr Manetsi added.
Educators from the participating provinces were also awarded with acknowledgement certificates for their commitment and dedication to heritage education.
“Knowledge about heritage in their communities during presentations, mostly research, presentation and time management skills as well as team work are some of the skills set to prepare the young people part of this programme as future leaders,” concluded Dr Manetsi.
Source National heritage Council