|dc.description.abstract||(a) General: The legal responsibility for education
in the Transvaal rests with the State. Primary and
secondary education are the care of the Transvaal Provincial
Administration through its Education Department , while
technical , university and adult education are the care
of the Central Government through its Union Department
Although the educational facilities thus provided
compare very favourably with those provided overseas,
certain serious gaps are left , notably in the pre-school
and in the post-school ages5 and also in certain aspects
of the education of the school-going child, particularly
in the case of the maladjusted child.
Although the primary function of the Johannesburg
Social welfare Department is social welfare, it fills
some of these gaps , either wholly or in part , through
some of its welfare provisions. It is seldom possible
to separate social welfare services from educational
services, as these two overlap to a large extent . The
only difference is often only in point of view. Whereas
Social Work wants to combat and remedy social evils,
education wants to prevent them. There is thus much
truth in the statement that what is social is also
educational , and what is educational is also social.
All welfare services, or for that matter any
services, which tend to promote the bringing of the
immature to a state of maturity, are also educational.
(b) Educational Activities of the J.M.S.W.D.:
The services provided by the J.M.S.W.D. which
are of educational significance are Play Centres,
Park Supervision, Youth Social Centres, Community Centres,
Sheltered Employment and Occupational Therapy, Research,
Statistics and Propaganda.
(1) Play Centres:
Play Centres were established in Johannesburg
by the Social Welfare Department to provide for the
urgently felt need for suitable and adequately organised
recreational facilities in order to prevent juvenile
delinquency and to keep the children away from the
many dangers of the streets.
The first Play Centre was opened in August, 1941,
in Mayfair. Since then six more play Centres have been
established in Johannesburg.
The Play Centre movement started in England and
America towards the end of the nineteenth century to
compensate children for the loss of their play facilities
as the result of the industrialisation of the cities with
the consequent lack of wholesome ways of spending leisure time.
Play is necessary for children as it not only
fulfils a natural and fundamental urge, but it is also
The Play Centres, which were established to provide
the necessary play and recreation facilities, aim at being
remedial, rehabilitative, preventive, promotive and
formative. They are remedial in so far as they aim at
correcting existing mistakes, maladjustments and
behaviour abnormalities. They are rehabilitative in so
far as they aim at rehabilitating behaviour problem
children. They are preventive in so far as they aim
at preventing delinquency, sickness and disease, and
undesirable friends and practices. They are promotive
in so far as they aim at promoting better relationship
between child, home and school, and the satisfaction of
the basic needs of children. They are formative in so
far as they aim at promoting the formation of character.
The Play Centres hope to achieve the above aims
through the provision of physical, intellectual, cultural
and social activities.
(2) Park Supervision Scheme:
Like Play Centres, Park Supervision was established
to provide organised play and recreational facilities for
school-going children, especially in the more congested
areas of the City, where playing room has almost disappeared
as the result of industrialisation.
America led the way in providing playgrounds for
children. There the movement went through three stages,
viz., the charity, the partially tax-supported, and the
present stage, where it fights for tax-supported playgrounds
for all children. Since the war schools are taking an
increasing interest and an active share in providing for play
and recreational facilities for children. In America
Park Supervision is only one of the stages of a
comprehensive recreation scheme.
Park Supervision was begun in Johannesburg in the
beginning of 1946. At present Joubert Park , End Street
Park, Fairview Park and Rhodes Park are being supervised.
The most important activities of the scheme are
checking neglect and all treatment of children in the parks
by nursemaids, dealing with cases of truancy, watching
difficult children, dealing with suspicious looking
characters, and, what is of particular importance from
the educational point of view, doing constructive work
with children, undertaking case studies and applying the
necessary treatment in order to bring about better
(3) Youth Social Centres:
Where the previous two services cater for school-going
children, Youth Social Centres were established to
provide constructive leisure-time activities for young
people between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five.
There is much that is of educational importance in these
activities, as true recreation is also an education, and
through recreation the ends of education may be served.
In fact, recreation is a most powerful instrument of
Like the previous services, the movement also
had its roots overseas, where they were established to
provide for the adolescent needs of boys and girls. It
was realised that unless these needs were adequately
provided for there was an ever-present danger of some of
them getting off the reservation. The need for this
service was most evident during the war when fathers and
mothers were on active service and the young people lacked
the necessary parental direction and control.
The Youth Social Centre in Johannesburg was
opened in July, 1946, in the old German Club building.
Although the primary objective of the Centre
was, as already stated, the provision of constructive
leisure-time activities, it is more and more taking on
the new objective of education towards citizenship.
The Youth Social Centre provides for a great
variety of activities, including group activities, such
a gymnastics, dancing, camping, needlework, dramatics
and concerts, debating and discussion groups, bioscope
shows and music groups. It also provides for a variety
of games, such as billiards and snooker, table tennis,
skittles, draughts, chess and cards. Important from the
educational viewpoint are the case studies undertaken
and the following treatment.
(4) Community Centres:
This service is concerned with the needs of
young people over fifteen and of adults. They are to
be established to provide constructive leisure-time
activities, with the aim of promoting, a.o. adult
education and education for citizenship.
This movement also started overseas as a
descendent of the Social Settlements, which developed
out of a desire to alleviate the conditions of the poor,
as the result of the Industrial Revolution, by providing
them with educational, recreational, and social services.
The Community Centre aims to bring about the
above through the provision of the following activities:
educational, health, social and recreational. Educational
activities are to be provided by libraries, adult education
classes, nursery schools, and study groups; health
activities by clinics, medical services, etc.; social
activities through dances, etc., and recreational
activities through exercises, games, etc.
(5) Sheltered Employment and Occupational Therapy:
This service was established in Johannesburg
towards the end of 1942 to employ and train physically
and/or mentally handicapped persons under sheltered
conditions with the object of rehabilitating them.
Although the idea originated with the ancients,
it was not until the World War that the movement gained
ground. It played a considerable part in the treatment
and rehabilitation of the war disabled.
Sheltered Employment and Occupational Therapy
aim at the adjustment of the individual through the
provision of facilities for vocational training and
sheltered employment. Thereby they aim at the restoration
of confidence and self-reliance.
This is to be brought about through the
following activities: in the men's section, carpentry,
tailoring, leather work, and sheet metal work , and in the
woman's section, dressmaking, weaving, and toymaking.
This is to be aided by lectures on educational subjects
and excursions to places of interest, such as the Art
(6) Research, Statistics and Propaganda:
This branch of the Social Welfare Department
undertakes research into the best methods of conducting
welfare work and makes the results thus obtained available
to social workers and others interested. Through its
propaganda activities the public is kept informed of
recent developments in welfare work and the way is prepared
for pending measures.||en_US