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Partner School News

Back in February, Headteacher of Shea O’Connor School in South Africa, Nicholas Nxumalo, explained they were short-staffed because of a strange quirk of the South African education system. Teachers are deployed based on student numbers from the previous year and of course COVID meant that fewer students attended last year — meaning they were now at least one teacher down (as teacher numbers were calculated on last year’s student numbers).

Our partnership has always been well-supported by staff and students. St Peter’s was able to directly employ an ‘EduHelper’ for six months from the scheme run by Michaelhouse school (a huge private school 10km away from Shea). Our local connections made this very easy.

Nicholas explains how much of an impact Sthabile Madlala has had — “Sthabile is indispensable, and we are working hard to close the gap caused by Lockdowns. She has carried out many assessments, so we can find out what students have not learned, and so we can plan for learners’ recovery. She is a Grade 8 classroom controller and is responsible for their behaviour management and the administration of all their records. She assists in all teachers’ duties, such as supervising break and lunch times and being on duty at the start and end of school. She does the full duty of a fully-employed teacher and we are grateful for her. Without her, we would have had to distribute all her work amongst all other teachers!”

Please see the attached photos of Sthabile in action and keep Shea O’Connor Combined School in your thoughts and prayers. I personally feel heartened that, by alleviating the huge workload of colleagues so far away, we come together so easily as a community. We really want to continue to support our partner school and plan to do as much as we can to help. If you feel inspired to help too please get in touch