One of the most exciting and enjoyable functions held at Waterberg Academy this year must be the “Drive in under the stars evening” hosted by our PTA. As the sun was setting, the words of Roberto Bolano came to mind when he said, “The sky, at sunset, looked like a carnivorous flower”.
Sunset is always a time of reflection for a day that has passed and brings the appreciation that the sun will rise again and bring forth a new day. As the sun set on Waterberg Academy and the beautiful red sky welcomed the night, I got a warm feeling that we are upon the dawn of a new Waterberg Academy. The school has faced so many challenges and has always risen from the ashes and continues to do us proud.
As we face new challenges let us remember the following:
Spiritual, social and moral development
As we look around us in our own country and abroad, we see things crumbling about us.
The most critical need of all is the inculcating of good morals, values, and ethics. We will fail as a nation unless we confront these. It is a challenge for every school and especially for a school such as ours. Where are we going? Why are we going there?
The political, economic and social chaos in Africa has risen because of the loss of virtue… the decline of moral values. Roman education went off track when it stopped teaching people to be good and concentrated on teaching only what to do. Let us not make the same mistake.
We as a school must ask ourselves: “Where do we stand? “We have a spiritual base, which makes it so much easier. We have God’s laws which are there to protect us…to help us, to guide us…. not to impose a morality, but to make for better living. We all know what is required. The difficulty will always be to stand up for our principles. The example of society and the pressure of peers often prevents us from doing what we know is right. Yes, it is a great challenge and every one of us, teacher, parent, and pupil, has a key role to play.
A dynamic staff
A headmaster’s dream is to be surrounded by a team of fanatics; it can also be a nightmare as each strives to achieve the impossible in his sphere. We have such a staff with each striving to do things better. The challenge has been to harness our passions and enthusiasm. The demands on our time are never-ending. When things cannot be done in the term time, things overflow to the holidays. There is hardly a holiday when there are not numerous activities or projects on the go. We certainly do have a dynamic and enthusiastic staff who are unashamedly happy to go the extra mile.
We would like to welcome Mr Pieter Steyn to our school. He joins us from the Northern Cape and promises to bring his years of experience into the Academy classroom.
Pupils are ready to take their place in the New SA
Our all-round education certainly prepares our pupils in many ways for life after school. They are well prepared academically to face the challenges that lie ahead. The introduction of our 21st century teaching and learning skills, which has taken off with a bang, will enable them to create their own employment rather than attempt to seek employment, which is becoming more difficult in our changing society.
They are also very well prepared physically. I have mentioned the spiritual and moral dimension.
We are seeking to expose them more to the concept of service to others and especially to greater interaction across cultural lines. This they will obviously need in our new country.
The Moetapele development and environmental programme continues to work well for the school and there have been other minor projects tackled. However, the whole concept of sacrificial service cannot honestly be said to be part of our education. This I believe is our greatest challenge. To achieve it we need but a small change in attitude from ‘might is right’ to a greater concern for fellow man. With the severe time restrictions already mentioned, it would have to be over weekends with the support and encouragement of our parents.
Modern and outstanding facilities
Over the years we have been blessed by benefactors who have enabled us to develop our wonderful facilities. With the school deciding to make a concerted effort to further improve and modernise, we have embarked on the following projects:
- Replacing and refurbishing all the woodwork within the school.
- Beautifying our gardens and general appearance.
- Reconstructing the swimming pool area.
- Painting of classrooms.
- New computer centre with computers donated to us by an American company.
Our Strategic Planning identified leadership as a vital prerequisite for the future. All schools offer leadership opportunities, some more successfully than others. We believe that every pupil needs to be trained in leadership and given opportunities throughout his/her school career. We already have a unique and exciting leadership programme for the Academy.
Most of the staff have already attended days of leadership training with a facilitator. We now have a key task group formulating a programme for the inclusion into every aspect of the 21st Century skills programme. We still have a long way to go in its development, but we hope that ultimately our graduates will leave well-trained in the theory and practice of leadership within the skills needed.
Important to remember:
- Winter school uniform can be worn from the 28th of April 2021
- Be on the look out for our weekly planner that will be mailed to all parents. This will include test dates, tasks, sport/cultural practices and events
The challenges facing school leavers today are greater than ever before. We are making good progress in our journey seeking to become:
“A Great Southern African Independent School and recognised as such”
We need to adapt continuously with the times. We must never be complacent or arrogant enough to believe that what worked in the past is good enough for the future. We still have much to do and need to look ahead as well as back.