Global Connections I

Global Connections I, South Africa & Botswana, 1997

February 1997

South Africa and Botswana

Global Connections I was jointly hosted by St. Stithians College and Collegiate in Randburg, South Africa, and the Maru A Pula School in Gaborone, Botswana in February 1997.

Thanks to the combined interests of David Wylde, Rector of St. Stithians and an early advocate for education outreach and training prior to and during the transformation to the “new” South Africa and Malcolm McKenzie, a South African Rhodes Scholar, teacher and Principal at the leading national school in Botswana, the first annual Seminar on Global Connections was held in those two countries.

A total of 41 principals and head teachers from 10 countries participated in the four-day South African program while eight continued on to visit Marwana, Maru a Pula’s environmental camp on the Limpopo River, the school itself in Gaborone, and then, finally the famous Tiger Kloof Educational Center in Vryburg, South Africa, a campus where almost all the facilities including an extraordinary chapel were built by the students and teachers since the School’s founding in 1904.

The focus of GC I was on the importance of educational transformation and, simultaneously, the retention of one’s own cultural identity. The keynote address was given by David Matthews, Principal of Tiger Kloof. Of those participating, approximately half were Principals of Township secondary schools in greater Johannesburg; the mix of advantaged and less advantaged schools was considerable and all participants learned a great deal about the importance of transparency and transformation in the days spent together. Visits were also made to a wide variety of national schools in the greater Pretoria-Johannesburg area.

At the conclusion of the Seminar, it was proposed that a continuum of national, regional and global connections be continued. The concept was proposed and given the name, Zwelibanzi, which in Zulu means “wide world.”

This organization has continued to meet since March 1997 and to provide a local and national catalyst for further collaborative efforts between schools.

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