November 11, 2020

Rector’s eNews – 11 November 2020

/ Rector's eNews

As we move towards the end of this year, I would like to take this opportunity to update you on the progress of our Transformation and Diversity Advisory Committee which, as a reminder to you, is a group of boys and staff which engages, under the Chairmanship of Mr Sibusiso Ncamani, Housemaster of East, with issues of importance on the above areas to boys and others in our school community. It advises the Executive of the school which, in turn, advises the Board of the views of the boys and staff present. The Senior Prefect and Second Prefect are on this Committee ex officio and there are four boys in A Block, 3 in B Block and 2 in C Block who are elected by the boys to represent their views. Participation at meetings which have now come to an end for this year, owing to exams being upon us, has been lively and constructive, and the boys have commented that they are pleased with the direction of discussions. Over our last two meetings, Karabo Che Makoape, our independent consultant, elicited views about what they believed the key features of a Transformation and Diversity policy for the school should be. The boys contributed to this discussion which encompassed all aspects of diversity and a draft policy will be considered by our Board in due course. Karabo has been called upon by other schools for his advice and has engaged effectively and with empathy with our staff (both collectively and in smaller groups), our Employment Equity Committee, our B Block boys, our Support Staff, those leading our curriculum development and, indeed, with all of our boys in different fora at different times to ensure that there is a constructive approach through dialogue to our process and that the outcomes are reflective of a broad range of opinion.

What was considered important was that the Transformation and Diversity Policy would be best if it came from the grassroots up, as it were, and so it has taken time to reach a draft format, and once it is formulated and accepted in the course of 2021, I will send it on to you.

Awareness, understanding, valuing and respecting others are the hallmarks of a society which functions in a harmonious fashion and it is not difficult to embrace these qualities if one’s mindset is right. A sense of humour is also important in discussions in most things in life. The cartoon below comes from the ISASA Guide to Effective School Transformation and Diversity Management. I am not suggesting it is hilariously funny, but it does serve to demonstrate the sort of issues with which we are engaging.

Apart from the matrics who have been taking examinations for the last three weeks, the B and C Blocks are now into the ‘exam season’ and both the D and E Block will shortly be taking their examinations too. However, it was wonderful to see a number of our boys out on the cricket fields over the last weekend and other boys purposefully engaged in musical activities and similar occupations.

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