Social responsibility News
The appearance of the Covid-19 virus in South Africa produced a deluge of news: articles, opinions and statistics. Anxiety gripped society which seemed obsessed with the worst predictions, serving only to heighten fear. We quickly realised that dealing with the panic would be likely to be more taxing than dealing with the effect of the virus itself at School.
As set out in our letter of 6 June 2020, the Council Sub-committee has been established to look into racist, sexist and other forms of discrimination and related matters at St Peter’s College. The Committee met on 13 June 2020 to consider submissions from concerned parties.
Not so long ago, at least from your parents’ perspective, social media was not part of society. There were traditional media, and there was a social connection, and neither had any real relevance to the other. Information was shared face-to-face, over the phone, in a letter, or via the grapevine.
In these uncertain and challenging times, divisions and tensions have escalated globally and the College has not been immune. Stories of racism at the College surfaced on social media last week. As already communicated, the specific student at the forefront of these was immediately suspended and has since left the College.
Unfortunately, the College Council has been led to believe this was not an isolated occurrence. It has since been alerted to a number of other incidents that are also cause for alarm. Accusations and counter-accusations have been made in public which have escalated divisions and tensions. Impatience and frustrations have also risen.
Despite some perceptions to the contrary, the Council responded immediately by establishing an independent committee to look into these matters. This Committee is not only made up of representatives from Council, the College (staff and students), parents and alumni, but also has an independent member. The Committee has been drawn up to reflect the diversity at the College.
St Peter’s College, a Christian private institution a little over 20 years old, entered the education arena and mental grounding allowing them to cope with life’s challenges and correctly assimilate a world that often presents conflicting messages. We have always purposed that our students, regardless of any negative external influences, be best equipped to make the right choices; that they always consciously choose to do what is just and noble. Part of this includes an ever-present focus on diversity and inclusion that creates cohesion amongst the students and enables them to have rich and fulfilling personal and professional relationships beyond the school gate.
In light of the announcement from the President, I thought it would be beneficial to share some book-related resources to help get us through the next few weeks, both in terms of our school work, and reading for relaxation and escape.
Before I start, I encourage all of you to try and read more at this time. Reading is (typically) a low-screen time form of entertainment and escapism. Reading allows us to process our thoughts and feelings through the thoughts and feelings of our favorite characters. This is helpful in a challenging time like this. There is a book out there for everyone
As of January 2020, the Art Task Team has been rebranded as ADaM – Art, Design, and Media.
This way we will be covering a more diverse range of disciplines that we hope to grow to be in better service to St Peter’s College, and beyond. The concept is more inclusive and diverse and may include other skills development from arenas such as the tech environment, digital media, and even the building and construction fields.
WOW! Thank you to all the volunteers who were at the first Sefikeng session on Wednesday! What an incredible start to our Sefikeng year. As we entered the school on Wednesday morning, the chant of ‘St Peter’s, St Peter’s!’ resounded through the school as the Sefikeng children realised we were there.
Mandela Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday. People are encouraged to take 67 minutes of their day to fight for social justice. This year, on 22 July, our St Peters Prep Community, which included our parents, children, teachers, interns and maintenance staff, decided to embark on a project to upgrade our outreach school, Sefikeng Primary School. Our community volunteered 2 hours of their time and donated money and goods that were needed for this project. Some of our projects included painting fences and jungle gyms, cleaning classrooms and classroom equipment, gardening and creating a welcoming staffroom.
Madiba’s spirit was alive on Saturday, when over 250 St Peter’s families and staff joined their Sefikeng counterparts to give their 67 minutes.
The overwhelming sense of community that prevailed was palpable - passion, care and enthusiasm abounded.