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There were smiles all around as the Ingane Yami children went back to school on Monday!
After South Africa experienced it’s second wave of the COVID pandemic, the South African Minister of Education made the decision to hold-off sending children to school. Our teachers immediately took action, putting together “home school” type packs that the children could work on from home. Our moms, once again, became the teachers, and the children started “school” on the 17th of January from their home. The schoolwork carried on, but it’s just not the same as going into the classroom!
Thus everyone was VERY excited when we were given the green light to start “real school” again!
Our Grade 1s have a brand-new school room (our OT room converted), and the Grade R’s were beaming at being in the big school for the first time! Aunty Gaby has a busy schedule: her class consists of Grade 3s, 4s and 5s this year; something she is able to manage due to the small numbers in each class, and our ACE learn-at-your-own-pace system.
Because so many of our children did not have the privilege of early childhood education, some of our children are not in the appropriate grade for their age. The learn-at-your-own-pace system allows our children a chance to catch up when they are behind. Gaby will be fast-tracking a few of our Grade 4s and all of the Grade 5s in order to give them an opportunity to catch up.
Only our oldest boy, Andile, has yet to start school. He is in Grade 9 this year, and so is attending a government high school. In time, we would love to see a High School at the Village, but with such a large age gap between Andile and the next grade, it didn’t make sense to start a High School now.
As for extra murals, the girls have all resumed ballet, though the classes are held via zoom; and our boys are itching to start gymnastics again!
Although life still feels different under COVID, our children have adapted amazingly. They, like all of us, have always learnt to appreciate the small things. The simple joy of being able to go back to school becomes a big thing; definitely something worth smiling about!