South Peninsula hosts global classroom

Grade 10 and 11 pupils, Josh Hendricks, Emlin Hendricks and Tauhir Anthony. At the back are Caitlin Botha, Amy Mienies, Aaliyah Shira, Imaan Dudukay, Jamie Hendricks and Lindiwe Traut-Naidoo.

South Peninsula High School will be hosting the Global Classroom Partnership (South Africa) at their school, from Wednesday June 19 to Saturday June 29.

The Global Classroom Partnership (GCP) is an international social, academic and cultural student project involving high schools from eight countries.

It offers young people an opportunity to develop inter-cultural skills, become more sociable, confident, adaptive and tolerant.

South Peninsula High has been part of this partnership since 2001.

In 2018 they participated in the conference hosted by Bobergskolan in Sweden and focused on the theme of “Embracing our differences”.

This year the theme will be “Activism – being an active citizen of the world”.

Principal Zeid Baker said in the past they have had hundreds of pupils, educators, parents and other interested people involved in different capacities and levels.

“The Global Classroom Partnership has grown tremendously over the years and some of the programmes that we are engaged in are annual conferences, short and extended learner and educator exchanges, Commonwealth youth exchange project, learning school, advanced history exchange project, enterprise and development programme, video conferencing, etc.”

However, he said, the main problem confronting them with a project of this nature is finance. “The parents, students, friends and the school communities bear the responsibility of raising funds for this venture. We are extremely proud of the fact that our South African contingents from disadvantaged communities have been successful in sustaining this project for the past 24 years and that we have had full representation at all conferences to date. We organise fund-raising events, for example dances, golf days, karaoke, high teas, dinners, raffles, fashion shows, etc, but the income from these sources is minimum. Incidentally, we have requested financial and other forms of assistance from the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) but until now we have not had a favourable or positive response.”

Mr Baker said the highlight of the GCP is the annual conference with partner schools acting as hosts on a rotational basis.

“The first conference was held in the Shetland Islands in 1992 and we are now in the fourth cycle of conferences. The themes dealt with at conferences are usually based on topics that are universal and of special interest to the youth who can easily identify with it, for example, democracy, racism, equality, prejudice, gender, human rights, environment, media, culture, technology, peace, to mention but a few. South Africa successfully hosted conferences in 1995, 2005 and then again in 2012.”

Schools involved in the programme include South Peninsula High School: Cape Town; South Africa Anderson High School: Lerwick; Shetland Islands, United Kingdom; Gymnazium Zlin: Zlin; Czech Republic;Bobergskolan:Ange; Sweden;GrafFriedrich-Schule: Diepholtz;Germany; Ridgewood High School: New Jersey; United States of America; Lake Gininderra College: Canberra; Australia; Centro de Formacion Somorrostro: Bilbao; Spain.

For more information or if you want to support their initiative, contact Deidre Bastian on 079 333 1816.