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Letter from the Rector

Dear Parents/Guardians and Families

I still remember when President Ramaphosa announced the “hard lockdown” on March 26, 2020! We all were busy doing what we used to do and we were all caught up in the “rat race”. Then all of a sudden, the whole country was “locked-up” in their homes or in other provinces or even in other countries in many cases!

Our lives have changed drastically. We were out of our comfort zones and the health workers were in the frontline of the fight against the virus.

My heart goes out to each and every family who have lost dear ones during the past twenty months and I pray that God will be your Comforter and Healer during your time of mourning.

There were many people who suffered and there were and still are many people who are heroes by walking the extra mile, putting their own lives and those of their families at risk for the sake of other people. I believe we will hear great testimonies in times to come and I am looking forward to hear them.

It will be wrong to not acknowledge every single person but for the purpose of my message I will refrain from doing so. I salute every hero!
Today, I would like to recognise our learners. Our children. As a life-long educator, a dad and a grand dad myself, I was working at all our schools and building sites since the starting of Lockdown until today. I have been watching our children and I have experienced first hand how our children have managed to get through their school years in the midst of this crisis. At first, they were very uncertain and one could see the fear in their eyes! For them, this was a truly huge “enemy” to conquer.

But I watched them, as they slowly started to adopt to the “new system of education”. By not always being able to be at the school, in the classroom, on the playground, in the presence of their friends, class mates and teachers. Slowly but surely, they recovered from this and started to “fight back”. Once schools were reopening, at first by platooning and rotating and later on back to normal, they overcame their fear, they lifted their spirits, they encouraged and cared for one another. What an inspiration they are!!!

Today as I am sitting in my office, I am listening to our learners as they interact outside. As a teacher, one knows exactly what each and every sound and voice means coming from classrooms and playgrounds.

At one of my previous schools, we had boarding facilities. Learners came from very remote places in Limpopo and they used to stay in the boarding school for most of the month. I have learned to listen to what the children do. Even if one can not be at all places at the same time, one had this “fine-tuning”. Whether the learners were studying, sleeping or playing, there were certain “vibrations” which a teacher can hear. Some of those “vibrations/noises” were comforting, one knew they were happy or playing or studying…but, then there were those “noises” that when one hears them, you leave everything that kept you busy and run to where the sound came from. I can compare it with a “sound-engineer”. One knows exactly what is going on around you on the school premises.

Our children are my super heroes!! I am so proud of them. May we as adults learn from them. They showed us how to stand up and overcome our fear. I have to admit, we as adults didn’t “pass the test of faith” in many cases. But our children did. So, well done to our learners. Keep it up. You give us hope.

I would like to say that all four schools in the EduLife Group made me very proud. Our principals of Academy of Excellence Primary (Mrs Jolene van der Merwe) and Secondary school (Mr Tommie Fourie), Vista Junior Academy (Mrs Lizandra Wessels) and Olive Ridge school (Mrs Debbie van Wyk), together with their teaching, admin, financial and supporting staff have kept their schools going under the most difficult circumstances. They had to deal with learners’ safety, education, moving of schools to new premises and make their schools safe havens for everyone. They also had to deal with lots of criticism and negative speech, but they have pushed through and led their schools to come to a place where we can let the learners write exams, have well-done functions and even year-end functions. I lift my hat to our principals and their staff.

To our parents, a special word of appreciation and thank you. It surely was not an easy task to raise your kids, keep them healthy and sending them to school. Keep your faith, stand firm and never give up.

Please be sure of our continuous commitment to do what ever is needed to educate your children. We as the EduLife Group has committed ourselves to the following vision: “To sustainably provide inclusive, modern and tailormade educational excellence, that enables all learners to thrive, reach their full potential and meet the demands of the future”.

May you all have a blessed Festive season, may you have a good rest and my you all be safe. May your new year be blessed as well and my God’s favour rest upon you and your families.

Thank you.

Willie Havenga
Academic Head/Rector

Deuteronomy 28:1-14

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