All Africa Student Convention underway at UFS

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THANDI XABA

The annual All Africa Student Convention has kicked off at the University of the Free State and the chairman of the All Africa Student Convention Tresville Verhoog says over a thousand students and adults are to embrace the diverse convention.

Verhoog, who is from Cape Town says the week long convention is an annual event which is presented by various countries in Africa and South Africa. This year there are nine countries represented including Uganda, Zambia, Namibia and Mozambique. “We are utilising the facilities at UFS and will be gathering for the entire week until Friday,” he says.

He explains the convention is almost like the Eisteddfod they have all over South Africa whereby senior students of their schools come together to participate in various activities. The conference is run for schools that use the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum, which is an American programme.

“This curriculum has been in South Africa for 30 years. We don’t select or choose the school but they volunteer from themselves and they choose to participate. We invite them and they arrange the money and start preparing 12 months prior the convention,” says Verhoog.

Included in the programme are various events like art-work (3D AND 2D art), various musical instrumental and vocal groups performing, one-act plays, poetry recitals and famous speakers of the world addressing the students.

“A little bit of sport and photography is also incorporated, but essentially it is a participative and competitive convention. In the evening we will have special input by the note speakers for our students,” he says.

The main reasons which prompted such a convention to take place is, according to Verhoog, there would be participation of schools at school or regional levels and the ACE and All Africa Student wanted to provide a higher level of participation where students can involve themselves and compete on a higher level.

“Furthermore we would need to find a platform for our learners to participate because there is a lot of hard work that goes in on school level, so we create this as an a annual basis so that the development can take place for our schools,” elaborated Verhoog.

Students get judged and those who receive a score higher than 80%for their particular event/item will be nominated for the International Student Convention held in May the following year.

“We have been in Bloemfontein since the year 2000 and the convention has been held on the UFS campus since 2001, we have been in a great partnership with them in making this work,” he enthuses.