Grade 12 pupils are urged to en­ter bud­get speech com­pe­ti­tion

The New Age (Free State) - - FREE STATE NEWS - BECKER SEMELA beck­ers@the­

GRADE 12 pupils who study busi­ness eco­nomics have an op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence the tabling of the provin­cial bud­get if they win a bud­get com­pe­ti­tion be­ing run by the depart­ment.

The top five pupils to­gether with their teach­ers will be in­vited to the provin­cial bud­get speech by fi­nance MEC Elsabe Rock­man.

Depart­ment spokesper­son Tshidiso Mokokoane said the com­pe­ti­tion is an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity for pupils from for­mer dis­ad­van­taged schools in the prov­ince who are pas­sion­ate about eco­nomics to have a feel of what needs to be done and con­sid­ered in the al­lo­ca­tion of the provin­cial re­sources.

He said the provin­cial bud­get al­lo­ca­tions af­fect all com­mu­ni­ties and busi­nesses in the prov­ince and is be­ing de­cided by the provin­cial trea­sury through its con­sul­ta­tions with all the rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers and tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the cur­rent and future so­cio-eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors of the prov­ince.

He said the essence of the com­pe­ti­tion is to ask young peo­ple to share their opin­ions, ideas and vi­sions for the provin­cial bud­get.

“Pupils par­tic­i­pat­ing in the com­pe­ti­tion have a chance to step into the shoes of the fi­nance MEC and to al­lo­cate the re­sources of the prov­ince. This com­pe­ti­tion is geared to­wards ed­u­cat­ing and in­spir­ing young peo­ple to en­gage in civic ac­tivism,” Mokokoane said.

“With this ini­tia­tive, young peo­ple have the op­por­tu­nity to learn about provin­cial pri­or­i­ties, ex­plore their own pri­or­i­ties, and po­ten­tially travel to Bloem­fontein to share their opin­ions with leg­is­la­tors, ex­ec­u­tives and busi­ness peo­ple them­selves.”

He said on an­other level, the ini­tia­tive gives the same au­di­ence the chance to lis­ten to and learn from young peo­ple about the most im­por­tant is­sues af­fect­ing their lives.

“Ev­ery year, young peo­ple are given a chance to write an es­say on the provin­cial bud­get and re­lated is­sues, with the win­ners re­ceiv­ing prizes for the out­stand­ing ideas on the bud­get,” he said.

This year, the com­mit­tee is rec­om­mend­ing that pupils write an es­say about how they will go about col­lect­ing and al­lo­cat­ing the es­ti­mated R30bn bud­get of the prov­ince in a tough eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment.

Mokokoane said the topic is sim­pli- fied for the tar­get au­di­ence, thus giv­ing them ad­e­quate space for in­no­va­tion. The views of the win­ning pupil may be in­cluded in the MEC’s bud­get speech and the win­ner will be given an op­por­tu­nity to ad­dress the MEC of fi­nance and mem­bers of the leg­is­la­ture.

“The rules are sim­ple, the work must be as orig­i­nal as pos­si­ble and quotes must be ac­knowl­edged. Es­says will be ac­cepted in English only. The length of the es­say should be about three typed pages or five hand-writ­ten pages and each school will be ex­pected to sup­ply three en­trants marked by the sub­ject teacher,” Mokokoane said.

He said all es­says must be sub­mit­ted at the cho­sen cen­tral of­fice of the depart­ment of ed­u­ca­tion by 1pm next Fri­day.

“The com­pe­ti­tion was in­au­gu­rated in 2012 with Kgauho Sec­ondary School in Bot­sha­belo, mainly due to limited re­sources. In 2013 it was opened to all sec­ondary schools in Bot­sha­belo and in 2014 it was then taken to the whole of Xhariep dis­trict while in 2015 it was in Mo­qhaka mu­nic­i­pal­ity,” Mokokoane said.

He said in 2016 the com­pe­ti­tion was in Ng­wathe mu­nic­i­pal­ity and last year the com­pe­ti­tion catered for all the pre­viosly dis­ad­van­taged schools in the prov­ince.

All en­tries from the same dis­trict will be dropped off at a cen­tral lo­ca­tion pro­vided for by the ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment.


BUD­GET: Fi­nance MEC Elsabe Rock­man.

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