Cape Town – Following a successful pilot project earlier this year, the City of Cape Town is expanding the use of baby simulators as part of its substance abuse prevention programme.
The city’s social development and early childhood development directorate was set to acquire 32 baby simulators as part of its soft skills programme for pupils, mayoral committee member for social development and early childhood development Suzette Little said in a statement.
“A pilot project earlier this year proved hugely successful in teaching learners about the effects of substance and alcohol abuse on babies, with a specific focus on foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS),” she said.
The city enlisted the services of Reality Learning SA to run the pilot project on its behalf and pre- and post-tests were conducted to gauge how much the children learned from the programme.
It also elicited questions and discussions about other issues, such as sexual abuse, including when “no means no” and who to speak to when there was a problem, as some pupils said they felt they could not confide in their parents, teachers, or police.
Both principals and pupils requested additional programmes on topics, such as sex education, bullying, and peer pressure.
“In this financial year, each of the directorate’s eight districts will receive four simulators, including a healthy baby simulator, substance abuse addiction simulator, foetal alcohol syndrome simulator, and a shaken baby syndrome simulator,” Little said.