Nine (9) schools represented by a group of four learners from each province will represent their provinces at the 2018 Heritage Education Schools Outreach Programme (HESOP) competition at the Golden Gate Highlands National Park in Free State from 01 to 05 October 2018.
The HESOP is an annual programme by the National Heritage Council (NHC) and this year’s partners include the Department of Basic Education (DBE), South African Heritage Resource Agency (SAHRA), South African National Parks (SANParks), National Arts Council (NAC), National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) and Brand SA.
The group of four learners per school will attend a week-long camp, where they will learn about intangible heritage, network and meet new faces from different cultures and traditions so they discover their value in society as patriotic citizens. They will also get to understand cultural and natural heritage concepts in their curriculum related subjects. The schools that reach the final stage of the competition will continue to challenge each other for first, second and third prize winner. With 2018 being the centenary of Tata Nelson Mandela, the stalwart’s words of wisdom and legacy will be part of the learners’ competition exercises.
The Golden Gate Highlands National Park was established in 1963 to protect the sandstone rocks which were once shelters for the Bushmen. Learners will have the pleasure of viewing cave paintings that are well preserved. The park also boasts various rare and indigenous flowers that include the Arum Lily, Watsonias, Fire Lilies and Red-Hot Pokers.
The 2018 HESOP programme kicked off in June where the Department of Basic Education in partnership with the NHC reached out to a number of heritage enthusiastic teachers and learners from schools at district and provincial level by going through several workshops. Eliminations were done at provincial level in July and August.
At provincial level, the Council is in partnership with the Limpopo Provincial Department of Arts, Sports and Recreation, Mpumalanga Provincial Department of Arts, Sports and Recreation and the Eastern Cape Nelson Mandela Museum.
The programme is targeted at Grade 9 to 11 learners from Government schools and is designed to increase awareness and appreciation of our common and diverse heritage through inter-cultural exchange, presentations, traditional performances and a site visit to a cultural village or heritage site.
“The successful management of our heritage resources; awareness and appreciation of our heritage is key for united and patriotic citizens. As the NHC, we cannot achieve all of this by ourselves, we appreciate the collaboration and support we receive from our partners. We also pride ourselves in decolonizing heritage for the future leaders of the country to start writing and telling their own history and to better understand their heritage” says Adv. Sonwabile Mancotywa, Chief Executive of the NHC.