1999 Visit
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In 1999 South African Women for Women recently sponsored the first trip to South Africa for two Canadian teachers as part of our Teacher Mentoring Project. It was a great success as reflected in this report by the two teachers who went over, Claudette Hope-Edwards and Monica Clarke

Mrs. Windy Gabashane-
the school principal (pictured centre, with her husband),
Monica Clarke (left), and
her daughter, Rachel (right).

We were met at Johannesburg International Airport by Mrs. Gabashane and the school secretary, Mrs. Judy Nel.  Accompanying us on this visit was Monica Clarke’s daughter, Rachel, a second year student teacher at York University’s Concurrent Education Program.

The team was taken directly to the school where a warm welcoming assembly (pictured right) had been arranged by the Head Girl and Boy, the prefects and students of the school. We were immediately impressed by the confidence and organizational skills which the students displayed.

Students wore uniforms in colours of black with green trim with white shirts.  After many warm words of welcome we were invited to speak – Rachel first because ‘she was the youngest and represented the youth’ followed by Monica and Claudette. We were then formally introduced to the entire staff who gathered to meet us and welcome us.  The excitement was palpable and we could sense the high anticipation level of all at the school.

The school principal displays excellent interpersonal skills and leadership.  She has a vision for the school, actively seeks both materials and strategies for the school, is generous in her willingness to share information  and ideas with others and is focused on creating success and the  pursuit of excellence for the students and the community.

The staff is cohesive and purposeful – largely due to the principal’s leadership and their loving natures and professional commitment.  They are warm, caring and open to all we had to share with them, ready to learn, quick to try suggested strategies and open to feedback.
Teachers do attend workshops provided by the Education Department. 

However, they feel that the workshops were generally not practical enough and did not meet their needs for the most part.  Material from the Ministry often arrived with no instruction manuals, directions or workshops for their effective use.
Despite the odds, Moshoeshoe Primary School is successful in many ways.  Mrs.  Gabashane has told us that 70% are above average in History, Geography, Sesotho and Maths.

The needs of the students at the school are significant.  We were told that 80% of them come from   ‘informal settlements with very few resources, low socio-economic living conditions are a real disadvantage. 

However, we saw that they were positive, hard working, confident, ambitious, open, warm and eager to learn.The school is a constant in the lives of these students and provides the best of the day for the students.

The school is in need of a variety of resources.  Some that have been identified are: maps and globes, classroom size pencil sharpeners, reading series books and other reading materials, math manipulatives, science glass beakers, test tubes, Bunsen burners, measuring cylinders, measuring devices, pencils, crayons, markers, rulers, pens, poster materials, art materials and song cassettes.

We sincerely appreciate the opportunity provided through SAWW to enable us to serve the Moshoeshoe Primary School community.  It was enriching and stimulating for us to be there and work with such a positive and dedicated group of educators.

Respectfully submitted,
Claudette Hope-Edwards
Monica Clarke