What began as the African Society founded in 2020 by Mbutokazi Mavuso and Qiqa Penxa developed into a wider group last year with a commitment to celebrating diversity and bringing transformation in and through Merrifield. Towards the end of 2021 the students met with the Board of Governors and shared their hopes for our school. In return the Board commissioned the students in their work, and we have made wonderful progress.
After surveying the student body, the SDTC collated a bank of questions around diversity and have been systematically addressing these during the year. There have been opportunities for race, culture, language, religion, and LGBTQIA+ education in assemblies and register classes. We are proud of our contribution to the creation of a more inclusive dress and appearance code in the College and the recognition of religious holidays on the school term planners. Another success was our first Pride event – a voluntary breaktime event for those who wanted to show support for the human rights of LGBTQIA+ community. This has been a hugely meaningful milestone for many in the College.
Teacher education was another important aspect and there have been whole school meetings centred around building belonging and community engagement, as well as informal learning sessions. Ms Rautenbach, Ms Maqubela, and Mrs Waechter were also privileged to attend SATISA’s inaugural conference in Johannesburg in July 2022.
We are excited about pursuing a key aspect of our school’s mission to “prepare citizens for a culturally diverse and democratic society” and are grateful for the overwhelming hands-on support from our Board.