From our Headmaster: COVID-19

March 30, 2020

Dear SCS Family, the Hoedspruit Community and fellow South Africans

As we complete a week of lockdown, a multitude of thoughts have gone, and keep going through my mind. The surreal situation we find ourselves in as a country, and as we watch the happenings of other countries, brings forth a range of emotions on so many levels.

The fear and trauma that has been spreading across the world, is ‘on our shores’ and the tide keeps coming in. The fact that our President, Cyril Ramaphosa has had to go to the lengths he has, reinforces the dire situation of SA. Fortunately, we have a leader who is proactive and willing to make the tough decisions he believes are best for our country. He certainly deserves the support of the nation.

In times like this, we rush to look after ourselves and those closest to us. Family, friends, colleagues and those who have had a direct impact on our lives, claim first and foremost attention in our minds. However, it is vital that we take a step back and widen our circle of focus to really see what is going on in our community and country, and give thought to how people are ready and willing to make a tangible difference when it is most needed.

With this in mind, I urge you all to think of our president’s commendation of the ‘unsung heroes’ and to give thanks to our fellow citizens, health workers, medical and security personnel, essential service staff, and so many volunteers who are selfless in action, placing themselves at the ‘warfront’ to fight this terrible pandemic.

I wish to bring this thought of gratitude closer to home - to teachers. Across the world they are taking on the challenge and making sure schooling continues. The demand to step out of their comfort zone to try new methods of teaching, has never been greater and they have embraced this challenge. This is true of my SCS staff. They too are truly amazing, needing less than 24 hours after the official announcement of school closure, to plan and prepare the necessary work to ensure our children successfully received their tuition to end the first term. My deepest appreciation goes to them all.

The next challenge facing my team is that they, during their well-deserved and needed school holidays, are required to plan for the entire second term with remote learning, using the online platforms available, as their medium. Exciting for some, downright daunting for others! So saying, I have no doubt that all will rise to this challenge and are committed to providing ongoing education during these unchartered times.

Included in our teacher’s drive to keep ‘our’ children abreast of their education, is the valuable support role that parents across the world, are so readily adopting. Parents are fast becoming additional unsung heroes of this crisis as they face job losses, financial uncertainty and emotional turmoil, all the while needing to be the calm rational voices and faces their children need as they too, experience anxiety and uncertainty fuelled by the changes they experience, the talk they hear, the media they see.

Now more than ever, is an important time to focus on being a family. Take the time to talk, play games, sing songs, debate various topics, build general knowledge, bake, build things, the list is endless … just be a family. For all my gratitude of the support you are willing to give teachers, I urge parents to balance your child’s educational needs with the emotional needs of those around you. Education comes in all forms and is ongoing and SCS will pick up where and when we need to.

At this trying time, we wish our SCS family, our community and our nation, the ability to find common ground and work together with patience, alertness, courage and kindness.

In President Cyril Ramaphosa’s words …

SA will conquer. There is no doubt in my mind that we will prevail. This is because South Africans have come together like never before to wage the struggle against this virus, together.”

Our thoughts are with you all. Stay safe.

Mickey Viegas

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