IMPERIAL Road Safety and the Department of Basic Education Celebrate Key Educational Milestone – 1000 Schools & over 1 Million Learners Celebrated in Transport Month
21 October 2016 – Imperial Road Safety, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, today announced that its Safe Scholars Programme has reached its 1000th school and has educated over 1 million learners around safe road usage. This programme, sanctioned by the Department of Basic Education (DBE), aims at generating awareness around road safety for learner pedestrians in need of an outreach programme.
It teaches them the fundamentals of safe road practices and provides them with reflective sashes which, thanks to the DBE, has been made a mandatory part of these children’s school uniform.
Minister of Basic Education Mrs Angie Motshekga thanked the partners who made today’s festivities possible and for their contribution in the scholar patrol and learner road safety programme. She extended the department’s gratitude to Imperial Holdings and Active Education for their sterling efforts and commitment particularly for learners.
“We recognise the strength and value of effective partnerships in contributing to the improvement of quality education. It is therefore our considered view that road safety amongst our learner population ought to be our apex priority. In this journey, we are not travelling alone,” said Minister Motshekga.
“We are proud of the progress the programme has made and believe that, through collaboration with companies such as Imperial, we are able to witness even further growth in this programme – one that is a fundamental pillar to enhanced road safety for our future leaders,” concluded Minister.
The Safe Scholars programme is an extension of Imperial Road Safety’s Scholar Patrol Improvement Project. Safe Scholars, which had set out to reach 300 schools and a quarter of a million students since inception in 2015, has today witnessed more than quadruple this figure with 1039 schools, 1 026 985 learners, as well as the distribution of 47 850 sashes.
“We are overwhelmed by the astounding success of this programme and believe that without government’s endorsement, we would not be in this position today. It is with this in mind that we were very proud to hand over a certificate of commemoration to Honourable Ms. Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education, to thank her department for the fundamental role they have played in helping us achieve such strong results,” says Mark Lamberti, CEO of Imperial Holdings.
“In addition, we believe that this type of outreach is a critical pillar in our efforts towards educating children, at grass root level, around the importance of road safety – especially for those children who walk to and from school each day.”
The Safe Scholars programme is supported by Imperial’s road safety mascot, Bongie – Buckle Up Buddy, who is a fun loving bush baby character that facilitates the communication of key road safety messages, including buckling up, crossing the road, and basic road usage as pedestrians and drivers. The mascot creates an active and fun method of learning that delivers a lasting and memorable experience, which helps children to connect with the road safety messages. The Safe Scholars team ensures an engaging and interactive experience for the children through question and answer sessions as well as the colouring in of images, and using stickers to reinforce that they get the road safety answers correct. It does not end here however, as posters are put up around the school to serve as an ongoing awareness platform.
“With almost 40%* of road deaths in South Africa being pedestrian related, there is no doubt that this milestone is an important one for the country. However, 1000 schools is only touching the surface and as such, we will continue to expand this project nationally to ensure we are improving the road safety of those that are most vulnerable – our children,” concludes Lamberti.