By Liesel Bakker
It’s been hard to ignore these past few weeks the coverage at Chris Hani High School in Makhaza involving a brutal attack leaving Malibongwe Melani, a grade 12 student, severely injured in hospital. (See articles in the Voice of the Cape and Cape Argus) Students are feeling very embittered with school life, the dysfunctional state of the school and the powerlessness of feeling unsafe in the very place they’re supposed to be learning and developing. A small group of students vented these frustrations in a very destructive way, making fires, throwing desks, rocks, sticks and other objects off the 2nd floor school building, at the principal, police and whoever was unfortunate enough to be in their path, shutting the school and disrupting scheduled exams.
However our amazing Ikamvanites are not letting this huge disruption to their exam period and school life get in their way of being the agents of change in their lives and of their friends. The Grade 11’s from Chris Hani came to us asking for extra physics classes to catch up not only the 12 weeks of work they missed by not having a teacher as well as the 2 weeks of disruption to their regular school day. So today, while the sun is blazing and their friends are all playing soccer in the road, they are instead sitting in our office learning about lenses and light with practical examples taught by our newest volunteering ikamvanite, retired UCT lecturer Prof John Greene.
These learners are really inspirational not only to other Ikamvanites but to their friends as well as the small group of destructive students. These are truly learners making the impossible happen for themselves, showing the others how no one can stand in the way of being the change in their lives.
Well done Ikamvanites, and Big Up to Prof John Greene!!