Pupils learn about ubuntu

2015-05-06 09:34
Koeberg Primary pupils listen to an educational talk about xenophobia.
nicole mccain

Koeberg Primary pupils listen to an educational talk about xenophobia. PHOTO: nicole mccain

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Maitland pupils are learning why and how to say no to xenophobia.

Pupils at Koeberg Primary received an educational talk by the Cape Town Refugee Centre and representatives of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees on Thursday last week.

About 60% of pupils at the school are foreigners, says principal Shanaaz Majiet.

“Some of these families are very needy and it’s a challenge to provide for their basic needs,” she says.

The school provides meals through a feeding scheme for 250 children and sources donations of school supplies.

Girls are also in need of sanitary pads, as many stay away from school during menstruation, Majiet explains.

This is being addressed in partnership with the Cape Town Refugee Centre. Girls will receive donations of sanitary pads, says Frederick Mitchell, education department district HIV spokesperson.

The educational programme, consisting of eight workshops, is a first of its kind, he says.

The Centre’s speaker, Phaladi Kotsie, says it is important to educate children about xenophobia from a young age, especially at schools with a large number of refugee pupils.

“Xenophobia is an unnecessary fear and it’s important to promote a spirit of ubuntu,” he says.

Majiet hopes the workshops will not only see more girls attend school, but will also empower children.

“This ties in with our anti-bullying campaign launched at the beginning of this term. We want children to understand that despite their race, they are all unique as children and are here to be educated,” she says

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