Western Cape students and teachers address diversity

2017-05-25 08:50

Cape Town - On Saturday, more than 50 learners and teachers from nine schools in Cape Town met at Good Hope Seminary High School in Gardens to discuss inclusion and diversity in schooling.

The summit is the fifth of its kind since August last year, GroundUp reported

It was organised by Leon Linz, Good Hope's deputy principal. He said the event was hosted to create a space "for high school learners to interact and engage, to be exposed to a range of issues and perhaps consider things differently".

"South Africa is a country still plagued by traditional, conservative and backward views which will obviously find their way into schools," Linz said.

"If every learner at school truly matters, then the gay, lesbian or transgendered kid deserves to feel safe, as does the black child, the white child, the brown child, the one from another city or country, the girl and the boy who chooses to express themselves outside the confines of traditional roles, and those who believe differently too."

 Good Hope
Learners and teachers from nine schools in Cape Town met at Good Hope Seminary High School to discuss inclusivity and diversity in schooling. (Trevor Bohatch, GroundUp)

The forum included speakers Sharon Ludwig (Triangle Project), who addressed gender and sexuality, Kay McCormick (a linguist formerly with UCT), who spoke about the links between power and language, and Sylvia Mama (founder of Western Cape Albinism Hypo-Pigment Foundation), who spoke about her experience as a woman with albinism.

"My teacher asked me to come here [the forum] because I did not know what diversity meant,” said Evodi Mukania, an 18-year-old learner at Cape Town High School doing research for an oral.

"I was amazed by what was said, because I used to judge gay people and lesbians."

Mukania said she grew up in a traditional Christian household where she was taught "gays and lesbians were committing a sin".

Nearly a year into the development of the project, Linz said he was looking for ways to bring similar discussions to more learners.

"The challenge is to make it bigger, but then you are going to need more people to make it happen," he said.

Linz said he is trying to partner with principals and teachers’ unions to gain access to other schools, and is developing a curriculum for teachers’ workshops and avenues for learners to start their own inclusion-focused groups on campus.

"I think that would be a great initiative, because there are people who are interested to come, but they don't have the means or transport to get here," Suheimah Mateus, a 16-year-old learner at Cape Town's German International School said.

"If we take this initiative to the people it would be even better."

Read more on:    cape town  |  education

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.