This year has seen much turmoil and change in the global political landscape. In our own country the “fallisms” will force us to confront the socio-political structures that have mostly existed unchanged since 1994.
Institutions of learning have come under the spotlight, and there is a need for us to reassess institutional culture and relevance.
On the morning of 8 November, I was surprised at how much of the conversation on the corridors was about Donald Trump’s winning the US presidential election.
It pleased me to hear the girls’ interest in global politics, and their ability to discuss the issues in an informed and interested manner. We certainly do want St Mary’s girls to be informed citizens with knowledge and understanding of current affairs, and the ability to express their opinion on such matters.
In this same spirit, it is necessary for our girls to be engaged in learning, listening, thinking and talking about the issues that confront our country. There are a good number of girls who are aware and have become involved in GIRLS, the diversity committee and other conversations, but they remain in the minority. The work of nation building is for all of us and the school’s expectation is that each individual girl will take the opportunities to join conversations, listen to speakers and commit to furthering the spirit of ubuntu in our school.
“It is not the things we have in common that usually cause misunderstanding, tension and conflict, but the things that we have as differences if they are not mutually understood and respected. We need to celebrate what binds us and act on what divides us.” Stanley Bongwe, 100 Lessons in Diversity, 2010
Head of school