Just weeks after an unpopular arson attack that resulted in the torching of the school hall forcing pupils to write assessment exams in the open, Glenvista High school is now back on its feet and is spotting a new look, Thanks to Safer South Africa Foundation and its committed stakeholders.
This three and half decade old school that prides itself with a punchy motto ‘The first school choice on your learning journey’ is situated in the south of Johannesburg and famous for its academic excellence since its inception.
Back to the story, more than half a dozen stakeholders, pupils and parents organized by the Riah Phiyega, led Foundation, converged at the school for a project cleanup and rebuilding programme.
Proceedings of the day took place in three fold including cleaning, painting and gardening.
This exercise saw everyone’s hands on deck with one common spirited cloak and dagger purpose and message of saying we love our children and school.
Thabile Morgan, Principal of the school thanked everyone for sacrificing their time.
“This shows commitment to well being of your child.
“More involvement results in more trust. Parents are owners of the school. Away with graffiti on our walls,” she said.
On the sidelines she told this publication the work in progress is a sign that not everyone was pro-torching of the school.
“We have descent learners here, excellent staff and want to prepare the school for future generation. We are still regarded as one of the best school, our mantra is excellence.”
Mabel Rantla, Alumni of South African Black Social Workers Association, told the audience most children are not in good space.
“Country is in crossroads, your peers fought hard and died for your rights. You cannot undermine what your peers achieved. You have a responsibility to protect these rights.”
Pressed to elaborate Rantla told this reporter it’s time to get back to basics and teach children value systems and rights related responsibilities.
“These children needs to understand there are limitations to the rights. Go to school and be educated,” she pointed.
Dalli Weyers, from the South African Human Rights, argued that children need to feel safe at all times.
“But sometimes it’s not happening because the environment creates anti social behaviour.”
Samantha Ramsewaki, Community Liaison Officer at the Correctional Services, argued her department was working with the Foundation on a joint collaboration to expand public education on repercussions of crime.
“ We are on a mission to educate the public on a life reality why we lock people away. We want to expand and educate the public why we do it.”
Walter Mashiya, Foundation’s Director Community Outreach, said their mission was to realize an environment where people live safely and in a harmonious society.
“We are winning in most provinces except Northern Cape due to Covid-19. First phase, we want to chow the whole elephant, but it must happen bits by bits. At schools we get a dent on individuals that we touch, and they end up becoming our ambassadors. That’s how everything boomerangs.
“As foundation we come across with many social ills in society everyday and we recommend to sponsors to assist. At this school we are happy to empower kids to resist and avoid any deviant behaviour or actions that will tarnish their image,” Mashiya pointed.
Edna Mamonyane, Foundation’s Gauteng Co-ordinator was on cloud nine with the day’s project.
“This tallies well with the vision and mission of the Foundation. Our role is to create a platform and put measures in place for our stakeholders to come in and assist.”
Mamonyane also revealed the Foundation have a couple of ambassadors in the school.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Safer South Africa Foundation was established in 2012.
- The Foundation’s Community Dialogues Programme was established as an ambitious and innovative community engagement process, aimed at stimulating community discussions in line with Vision 2030 as set out in the National Development Plan (NDP) to build safer communities and a just society.
The objectives of the Safer South Africa Foundation’s National Safety Debate are to
- Promote further education and understanding of the South African Criminal Justice System.
- Educate learners on the South African Constitution in an informal manner and to encourage them to engage with important issues relating to community safety and the Criminal Justice System.
- Encourage learners to develop important leadership skills.
- Dispel myths that communities seemingly may hold about the Criminal Justice System and law enforcement agencies.