MEC Chiloane host the 2nd annual SOS Festival which was held at Milpark. Pictures: Eddie Mtsweni

Johnathan Paoli

MEC for Education and Youth Development Matome Chiloane praised the achievements on display at the Schools of Specialisation (SoS) Festival and said  the programme is about post-matric career pathing for learners and with the resources, facilities and support required to prepare learners for work and for life beyond school.

MEC Chiloane made a keynote address ahead of the festival held in Milpark, Joburg on Saturday which saw over thirty stalls set up, representing the province.

Chiloane said through the SoS, the intention is to produce learners who have accumulated a well of technical skills; and who have skills in leadership, good citizenship and entrepreneurship; and a range of soft skills such as interpersonal relations, among others.

“Today is truly not a day for speeches. We are here today to celebrate and have the various schools of specialization experience each other’s greatness that they have been hearing of,” Chiloane said.

The MEC said the department was proud of all the schools where education is focused and targeted on a specific industry or economic activity for which learners can be prepared to understand and appreciate the nature of the industry.

Chiloane said the winners and achievers of this festival will put Gauteng on the map in relation to advancing innovation and knowledge through the SoS.

He said that he was excited to see the passion and creativity on display and that the future is in good hands with these young minds leading the way.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to connect with students, educators, and innovators at events like these. Together, we can make a difference in education,” Chiloane said.

The MEC also encouraged more partnerships to propel the SOS programme across more schools in the province, and said these schools have demonstrated over time that the intended objective of developing skills have been achieved.

“The anchor for SoS is partnership. Partnership so that the learners can get bursaries, apprenticeships, and all other opportunities that they require to go further,” the MEC said.

CEO & Founder of Sifiso Learning Group Sizwe Nxasana said that these schools are a shining example of future education not only in the province, but in the country.

“Today we are surrounded by vibrant potential coming from our learners and it shows that it’s not only knowledge but also skills, including problem solving and critical thinking, which would serve the learners well in the future,” Nxasana said.

He said that graduating from the schools of specialisation set the learners apart from any other learner in the country and that all the schools represented were winners in the long run.


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