The Provincial Annual Sports Science and Arts Festival (PASSAF) has kicked off at White City Stadium in Bulawayo with 2250 participants attending from all provinces in the country.
PASSAF which is running from July 10 to 12 is a brainchild by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education that commenced in 2017 and covers all schools in Zimbabwe.
PASSAF enters its second year and will run under the theme “Nurturing and tapping talent through the competency-based curriculum.
The annual festival comprises of various science, sports, arts and culture projects that learners engage in school from the Early Childhood Education (ECD) level to infants and junior primary level going up to secondary level.
Various schools such as Robert Tredgold, Ihlathi High School, Hugh Beadle primary school, Trenance primary School, Milton High School are in attendance in this year’s festival and have begun exhibiting their talents in science, sports and art projects.
The festival is taking place in three venues that are the White City stadium, White City Youth Arena and Mpumelelo, with activities running concurrently that include marimba, visual arts, modelling, electric brass band, gymnastics, 1500m race, karate and beadwork.
Students participating at the festival said they are excited to be exhibiting their handiwork and showcasing their talent.
“I enjoy making beaded jewellery and I am already selling my products to the community. I would like to grow my business after I finish my A’levels and become a full-time business woman,” said Sibongiseni Ndlovu a student from Ihlathi High School.
Emmie Binya a school teacher from Inkanyezi primary school said the school has been participating in the festival from its inception and it won in the National Annual Sports, Science and Arts Festival.
She commended the festival for recognising learner’s talents that are not only academic.
“School children have different talents, some excel in academics while some do not but through this festival, we are discovering children’s talents and they will help them in future,” said Binya.
“If a child can manage to make bags, beadwork, cover beds and jewellery then it means they have a future and they can be solely independent on themselves.”
PASSAF public relations officer, Moyo said more recognition should be given to the work of the students exhibiting and the business community should embrace such activities by at least sponsoring one category.
“These festivals should be embraced by all of us within the community of stakeholders, our learners consume bread every day giving support to the bread manufacturers and in that way, these manufacturers should at least come in and support these learners,” said Moyo.
“Our learners came wearing black shoes, the shoe manufacturers are conspicuous by their absence at such festivals.”
He said all stakeholders should involve themselves in such activities and recognise learners for the work they are doing
“We need to support learners, especially when you look at how much they consume a day in terms of food, and school uniforms. This is an opportunity for them to exhibit their products as well to parents and teachers attending the festival,” said Moyo.
PASSAF is part of a series of the annual science sports and arts festival (ASSAF) that begins at school level building up to the national level.