Migrant museum’s school tours

2019-01-24 06:01
Grade 4 learners of Christmas Tinto Primary School outside Hostel 33 in Lwandle on Monday 20 January.PHOTOS: MZWANELE MKALIPI

Grade 4 learners of Christmas Tinto Primary School outside Hostel 33 in Lwandle on Monday 20 January.PHOTOS: MZWANELE MKALIPI

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The new year brought on many new projects in Lwandle, including the commencement of the local Migrant Labour Museum’s history educational programme on Monday 21 January.

Learners and teachers of Christmas Tinto Primary School gathered at the museum, where they were welcomed and taken on a journey through the area.

Their first stop was Hostel 33, which was declared a heritage site by the provincial Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport in September last year. Here the Grade 4 scholars learnt about the living conditions of the men who once lived in the hostels, how they cooked and travelled to work daily.

The educational programme will be offered to learners of Christmas Tinto and Solomon Qatyana primary schools this week, while learners of Silukhanyo, Nomzamo, ACJ Phakade and Nomnqophiso primary school will also participate in the near future.

Amanda Koba, Education Officer at the museum, said it’s important for the learners to know their local history, especially the issue of migrant labour.

“There is only one migrant labour museum in the country, the one here in Lwandle,” she said. “As a museum and area we have a rich history and the learners need to know about it.”

Koba believes there’s nowhere better for the local youths to learn about their area’s history than at the museum itself.

“This history programme helps the learners academically as well, as it also forms part of the history curriculum,” she said.

“So when they actually see the conditions migrant labourers lived in, it’s easier for them to understand the lessons. During the visit on Monday, some of the learners even became emotional when they visited Hostel 33 and saw the conditions the men were forced to live in.”

Siyabulela Feni, Grade 4 teacher at Christmas Tinto, concurred with Koba about the importance of local history being taught to learners while they are young. “These learners need to know where we come from as a country and where we are moving towards,” he said.

“They must know, when they look around them, the reason they may not have access to certain things is because of the history of our country.”

Feni believes the visit aided the learners a great deal, and they will be assessed on the lessons taught during their two days at the museum.

Learners of Christmas Tinto Primary visited on Monday and Tuesday and Solomon Qatyana Primary learners attended yesterday (Wednesday) and today.

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