Fond farewell to education head

Pictured are Pelican Park Primary School principal Vasintha Moonsamy; director of Metropole South Education District, Glen van Harte who was honoured by the school; school governing body chairperson, Tammy Daniels; and head of department, Amina Hendricks.

Pelican Park Primary School presented a special tribute to Glen van Harte, director of Metropole South Education District, to bid him farewell, as he embarked on retirement, at an award ceremony held at the school, two weeks ago.

Tammy Daniels, school governing body chairperson, said the school presented him with an award for his long standing association with the school as well as for his long service in education. “He couldn’t make it to the ceremony, but we met with him at another time,” she said.

Mr Van Harte told Southern Mail about his experience working with Pelican Park Primary.

“On the eve of my departure from formal employment in the education department, it is fitting that I reflect on my relationship with one of my favourite primary schools in the district,” said Mr Van Harte.

He said the former principal of Pelican Park Primary, Logi Kistnasamy, was a stalwart in the struggle for quality education for all pupils in the country.

“As such, she set the standard at the school, which today has been greatly improved by the current principal, Vasintha Moonsamy. This exemplary standard has resulted in Pelican Park Primary School featuring regularly as a top performer in the WCED (Western Cape Education Department) Systemic Tests at Grade 3 and 6 levels, in the Metro South Education District.”

Mr Van Harte said the school has grown over the past 10 years, from 500 to 1 000 pupils in 2018.

Seven new classrooms are in the process of being completed to accommodate the additional pupils.

“There is a tangible sense of excellent education at the school from the minute one enters the school grounds. Pupils are polite and smiling, while educators are engaged and caring. On the numerous occasions that I have met with the staff, I have always been impressed by the robust nature of the debate.

“Their requests of the district to improve both its development of educators and provision of support (physical and psycho-social) have not gone unheeded.” Mr Van Harte said the school has always taken part in programmes spearheaded by the district, from the Anti-Bullying Annual Indaba to academic competitions such as the Spelling Bee. “In all these engagements, I have always been impressed by the quality of the work presented by both the learners and the educators,” he said.

“I am convinced that the school will grow from strength to strength despite the challenges of becoming a wholly inclusive institution in an underprivileged community. Pelican Park Primary stands as a beacon of hope and success for all those who love education,” said Mr Van Harte.