Emsengeni Primary School wins 9th Annual Marine Competition

  • 01 November 2013 | Ann Kunz | Category: Education

Zamo Zuma, Mlungisi Gumede and Mfundo Magoso of Emsengeni Primary School with the winner's trophy

uShaka Sea World’s Education Department hosted its 9th Annual Marine Competition on 25 October 2013, to coincide with Marine Month.

The competition is one of the highlights of the marine outreach programme diary, and a time when primary school learners compete against each other for trophies and places of honour.

Every school visited by the outreach team during the year is invited to submit a summary of what they have learned about the ocean after listening to Sea World educators.

Through their teachers the learners are invited to submit poems, stories or plays which a panel of judges read through and nominate semi-finalists. The standard of entries made their task difficult this year but in the end, 18 individual poems and 10 group plays were chosen as competition finalists.

Learners from Ntuzuma Primary School, 'saying no to environmental threats in order to protect our diversity'

This year there was a choice of two themes: “The beauty and life of our biodiversity” or “Once upon a time we saved the ocean”. uShaka Sea World sponsored the transport costs and prepared the paperwork for the Education Department – a requisite when taking learners out of school for the day. 

Although the programme was due to start at 9am, only half the learners had arrived. This gave the SABC’s YoTV presenters a chance to interview learners and teachers before the event began in earnest. 

The following schools participated in the competition: Ngwenya Msomi Primary, Sesifikile Primary, Jaja Primary, Habiyane Primary, Ntuzuma Primary, Bonisanani Primary, Khiphulwazi Primary, Dalmeny Primary, Sithembile Primary, Emsengeni Primary, Kwacutshwayo Primary, Sandasonke Primary, Esidumbini Primary, Celukuphiwa Primary, Mathamo Primary, Edilini Primary and Sakhile Primary.

The standard of performances was high as learners enthusiastically dramatised their interpretation of what is wrong with the ocean and how it can be put right. At times the judges had tears running down their cheeks from laughter as the young learners impersonated various marine role-players. 

It was clear that everyone had learned a lot from the lessons taught by uShaka Sea World Education Centre staff. It is heartwarming to note that there are so many young South Africans who are passionate about caring for our marine environment.

However, as with all competitions, there can be only one winner. This year’s winners were the learners from Emsengeni Primary School, who highlighted the importance of all living creatures that are connected through the web of life. 

Emsengeni Primary School has approximately 500 learners, who all turned out when the uShaka Sea World outreach team visited their school. Their eagerness to understand more about the marine environment, combined with their love of drama and hours of hard work, all paid off as they carried the title and trophy back to their school.

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