Amerikaners besoek Academia

Academia het Donderdag 29 Mei besoek ontvang van Joan en Peter Vaughan. Al die pad van Texas, Dallas. Mnr Tommy Wilson, prinsipaal van Academia, het Joan ontmoet by ‘n Prinsipale Werkswinkel van Partners of Possibilities, by UWK. Joan is ‘n afgetrede prinsipaal en haar man, Peter, wat al in die Withuis gewerk het, is ‘n Besigheidskonsultant. Joan het Academia besoek om te kyk met watter skool in Amerika sy Academia mee kan pas as “partner”.

Joan en haar man was geweldig beïndruk met die skool en sy geslaagde diversiteit. Hulle is getrakteer met ontbyt in die skool se restaurant en die skool se marimba spelers asook die isiXhosa koor het hulle vermaak. Peter het laat blyk dat hy al baie skole in sowat 40 lande besoek het, en dat die ontvangs wat hulle by Academia gekry het enig in sy soort was. Joan het die graad 11 Wiskundige Geletterdheid klas van juffrou Mostert besoek en persoonlik ervaar wat ‘n dubbel medium klas behels. Sy was eers onder die indruk dat daar spesiaal vir haar vertaal is maar nadat sy meegedeel is dat meeste van die klasse in VOO-band in dubbel medium aangebied word was sy baie beïndruk.

Academia glo dat ‘n oorsese assosiasie groot voordele sal inhou vir die skool se leerders. Groot dinge lê voor vir die skool en die skool gaan aktief betrokke wees by twee projekte wat later in die jaar aangekondig sal word. ‘n Groot hindernis by die skool is die gebrek aan vervoer. Die skool wil baie graag sy eie bussies hê sodat leerders blootgestel kan word aan tersiêre inrigtings, leerders na sport en kultuur geleenthede te vervoer en leerders die kans gun om hul vlerke te sprei. Die impak van die skool as ‘n opvoedkindige instelling moet nie onderskat word nie. Die skool word hoog aangeskryf deur die departement en word geloof vir wat in ‘n baie kort tyd vermag is. Academia kan net baat met plaaslike ondersteuning en die inkoop van oorsese instansies om te verseker dat die skool ‘n sentrum van uitnemendheid word.   

Joan het die volgende op haar Amerikaanse Facebook te sê gehad. 

"As Peter and I have travelled the Western Cape for Partners for Possibility these last few weeks, we've visited many no-fee schools with truly deplorable conditions; they are under-resourced, under-staffed, under-trained, under-motivated, and shockingly under-performing.

Yet, every once in a while we encounter a gem, a successful no-fee school where learning is paramount and results are stellar. This week we were privileged to encounter two such oases, and spent several days visiting classrooms and interviewing both teachers and administrators.

I am a firm believer that "success leaves footprints" and am fascinated to learn why some no-fee schools, facing EXACTLY  the  same daunting challenges as others in South Africa, are resourceful and inventive enough to overcome the staggering obstacles.

Interestingly, the leaders of these schools are ALL Godly men and women; convinced their leadership is a calling rather than a job, and cognoscente their learners will affect the future of South Africa. To an individual, they are relationship gurus, seeing the gifts in their teachers and students, and quick to praise and celebrate every success instead of dwelling on deficiencies.

I’m attaching a video from Gansbaai Academia, a four year old no-fee high-school in a tiny, isolated coastal fishing town, where unemployment is massive due to the new fishing restrictions and where hope is low. The dual-medium school (Afrikaans and English) is 43% coloured (SA term for multi-racial), 44% African (several different tribes, but largely isiXhosa), 13% white, 1% Asian. The matriculation rate is a stunning 94%...absolutely unheard of in an area so economically depressed. Peter and I were treated to a lovely breakfast prepared by the students and governing body, and were entertained by their choir and marimba band, which touched our hearts. Fund-raising is a constant issue; when we were there, they cancelled a sport event for that day, as learners could not afford to pay for a bus. We will see how we can muster some businesses to help this!"

Liezel Mostert

Foto : Joan en Peter Vaughan saam met mnr Tommy Wilson