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​​​JMPD takes Joburg learners off the streets​


Nearly 200 learners in the City of Johannesburg’s Region D have been kept busy over the past few days while learning new things, thanks to the JMPD’s Schools Holiday Programme.

Since Monday this week learners aged between eight and 18 have been converging into the Bapedi Hall in Meadowlands, Soweto, where they engaged in various activities such as life skills and sports. The week-long programme is supported by City entities and departments such as the Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) and the Department of Community Development, as well as non-governmental organisations such as Grassroots Soccer and loveLife.

JMPD Officer Tshidiso Monareng said the aim of the programme was to remove learners from the streets and engage them in meaningful activities and aspects that would benefit them, including career guidance. He said Region D was faced with many social challenges, including teenage pregnancy, drug abuse and a high school dropout rate. “With this programme we hope to mitigate these challenges and help to build stability in communities,” he said.

Monareng said one of the important aspects of the programme was to create awareness of the challenges of teenage pregnancy and motherhood. Road safety forms an integral part of the programme. Young children are taught basics such as how to cross the road.

Monareng said JMPD had also invited representatives of the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence to speak to the learners about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse. It also invited ex-convicts to talk about their prison experiences to discourage learners from engaging in criminal activities. “Social workers are always on hand to assess whether there are learners who need social services,” he said.

Health Promoter Paul Lesu said the programme had received an “overwhelming response” from schools. He said JMPD would have loved to have had more learners attending the programme.
Lesu added that JMPD was already preparing for the September school holidays.