Maitland High School community band together to overcome adversity | Western Cape Education Department
Maitland High School community band together to overcome adversity

Maitland High School community band together to overcome adversity 

9 July 2020

Learners at Maitland High School receive a warm cup of soup each morning before the start of their academic day.

Acting Principal Leon Kapp said when the school reopened on 01 June 2020 for Grade 12 learners, they realised that the learners will be facing numerous challenges in resuming their schooling. 

“We acknowledge that our learners and all staff members are facing many difficulties, apart from the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our school is largely constituted of learners commuting from many outlying areas on the Cape Flats and subsequently they depart from their homes in the very early hours of the morning, as early as 05:30. 

“We are in the winter season and the cold, unfavourable weather doesn't make it any easier on the learners and some staff members. It was then decided that we would provide nutritional support early in the day to our learner apart from the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) at our school.”

Kapp said before learners start their academic day and all COVID-19 access proceedings are concluded, they spend the first half an hour, from 08:00 to 08:30, enjoying a warm cup of nutritious soup made by a member of school’s support staff, Sharmaine Diko. This session is also a reflection session on the current issues and learners share their experiences with the groups under stringent COVID-19 measures. 

“Apart from the school`s academic programme, we`re teaching our learners a very important life principle. One learner reflected on the lockdown by saying: ‘I had a time to be quiet and think about the poor and the needy and what I could do to help’. Our learners are constantly reminded of their space and place in society and the school and being in service to others, especially when our younger learners will be arriving. We know they will play a pivotal role in the return of the other learners as well, as that is generally expected from them as senior learners to support the others as well.”

Kapp said Diko delights in preparing the sumptuous large pot of soup every evening in preparation for the next day. Much of the ingredients are sponsored by staff, parents and the community, giving the school a family like character. “Educators, support staff and others take pride in helping the learners to achieve through their generosity. The Circuit Manager, Desire Christian, also donated vegetables for the soup.” 

Kapp added that the school’s motto for this very challenging time is simply: “We’re all in this together, and we’ll all triumph through this together”.