education sector


Read: SA schools still plagued by traditional and backward views

Learners and teachers address diversity.

education sector


Last Saturday saw more than 50 learners and teachers from 9 schools come together to discuss inclusion and diversity in schooling. The group met in Cape Town at Good Hope Seminary High School.

GroundUp reported on the summit, which is the fifth of its kind since August last year. Good Hope’s Deputy Principal Leon Litz, says that the purpose of the event is to create a space for high school learners to interact, engage and be exposed to a large number of issues. All with the hope that they will eventually start to consider things differently.

Litz explains that the “old” ways of thinking are causing problems in our schools.

“South Africa is a country still plagued by traditional, conservative and backward views which will obviously find their way into schools,”

“If every learner at school truly matters, then the gay, lesbian or transgendered kid deserves to feel safe, as does the black child, the white child, the brown child, the one from another city or country, the girl and the boy who chooses to express themselves outside the confines of traditional roles, and those who believe differently too.”

The event had 3 additional speakers, each addressed specific issues that needed to be discussed broadly. These included: Gender and Sexuality, the links between power and language and the various lived experiences of those with albinism.

One student spoke to GroundUp and explained how the event opened her eyes to a different way of thinking compared to how she was raised.

18-year-old Evodi Mukania says that she used to “judge gays and lesbians”. She was raised in a traditional Christian household and was “amazed” by discussions at the event.

Linz is determined to make the events bigger and more accessible, searching for ways to bring similar discussions to more learners. He is currently trying to partner with teachers’ unions in order to get access to more schools. More principals and teachers will also have to be brought in to start their own inclusion discussions on campus.

It is 2017 and there are still countless discussions that need to be had, discussions that we repeatedly have not been having. Shying away from “difficult” topics will only make things worse in the long run. If we can get that message across to the kids, one can only smile at the positive impact that will have on our diverse society.