Grade 12 pupils are urged to enter budget speech competition
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.