Prefects get approval

2019-05-07 06:00
Head girls of Perivale Primary School were in disbelief as the councillor honoured them for their contribution at the school. From left are Hope Riegers, Jamie-Lee Becker and Patricia van der Ross.PHOTOs: Nomzamo Yuku

Head girls of Perivale Primary School were in disbelief as the councillor honoured them for their contribution at the school. From left are Hope Riegers, Jamie-Lee Becker and Patricia van der Ross.PHOTOs: Nomzamo Yuku

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Local councillor, Patricia van der Ross held an hour-long programme equipping learners of Perivale Primary School in Lotus River with leadership skills on Tuesday 30 April.

The school is one of eight local schools that she plans to invest in, with ward budget allocated for youth empowerment.

She plans to host programmes continuously with one major event held annually.

During the programme, she spoke to more than 100 learners from Grade 4 to Grade 7, warning them not to be influenced by the social ills in their communities. “You can rise above any circumstance and you are the only one that can choose and reach your destiny,” she said.

Van der Ross touched on issues of substance abuse, gang violence and teenage pregnancy.

She also shared a story of her upbringing and being a community leader in Lotus River, saying she relates to the challenges the learners may be facing and is willing to contribute the little she can to make an impact in their lives.

She said learners are the future leaders and regardless of their aspirations in life, they need to be mentored and guided from a tender age.

Van der Ross later handed care-bags (containing toiletries), as a token of appreciation to 23 prefects and two school bags, as special tokens to the head girls. The school has 43 prefects and the remainder will receive tokens in a few weeks.

Van der Ross said being a prefect is a starting phase and those who get the opportunity usually earn it and need to be mentored and guided on their journey.

She said leadership comes with the responsibility of maintaining a certain standard and setting an example which could sometimes put pressure on those who are less fortunate and cannot afford the basics.

By giving the prefects a token of appreciation, Van der Ross said she wanted them to know their roles are appreciated and as much as they care for their school mates and contribute to the school, they should know there are people who also care for them too.

Leaners expressed their gratitude.

Jamie-Lee Becker from Pelican Park thanked the councillor saying it is a good feeling to know that people from outside the school admire and support the school and its role players. Becker hoped the talk and the rewards for the prefects will inspire other learners to work hard and be involved in school programmes.

Hope Riegers of Lotus River, another learner, admitted that being a leader comes with lots of responsibilities and a mandate to set an example in both the academics and your leadership role in and outside school.

School principal, Zaahier Jacobs welcomed the initiative to continue the relations with the local council’s office and encouraged learners to grab the opportunity to learn from it. He said the school is open to learner empowerment programmes.

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