Prof Jansen injects inspiration

2019-03-19 06:00
Students welcoming Professor Jonathan Jansen to the school Christel House South Africa.

Students welcoming Professor Jonathan Jansen to the school Christel House South Africa.

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The internationally renowned trailblazer in transformational education, Professor Jonathan Jansen, paid a friendly visit to non-profit school Christel House South Africa (CHSA) on Tuesday 5 March, in Ottery, to learn first-hand how the school magically works towards breaking the cycle of poverty.

Jansen has been inspiring audiences throughout the country with his contributions to the education landscape of South Africa.

With a mission to break the cycle of poverty, the school works to empower its students to reach their economic potential through character-based and career-focused education. As a staunch believer in transformative education himself, Jansen, a Professor at Stellenbosch University, applauded Christel House’s education model which picks for poverty over talent.

“Understand Christel House, and you have the keys to solving our national school crisis,” Jansen posted on his personal Facebook page later that evening.

Jansen was expressly impressed at how Christel House admits students from Cape Town’s most impoverished communities and gives them an opportunity to rise above their circumstances. As the many students enrolled at Christel House, Jansen came from the Cape Flats.

His journey as an educational expert started immediately after graduating with a bachelor of science degree from the University of Western Cape when he decided to become a teacher.

That was when he fell in love with education. He later attained a doctorate from Stanford University in the United States. Although he tackles injustice head-on, he also oversees restorative processes as he did when he acquitted the infamous “Reitz 4” as Vice Chancellor at the University of the Free State.

Having endured similar hardships the students at Christel House face daily, Professor Jansen encouraged the students to believe in themselves, to respect themselves and praised, in particular, the school’s remarkable grade 12 academic achievements. “If anyone tells you that you cannot do Maths, bring me their number,” he told the students.

Despite their challenging socio-economic circumstances, Christel House students go on to achieve exceptional results, outstripping their peers by 400% in Mathematics and English and attaining a 100% matric pass rate since inception. The school has matric subject averages of 80% and higher and is ranked eighth in the Western Cape for Economics. A total of 96% of Christel House graduates continue to study, are gainfully employed or both.

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