WATCH: Khayelitsha private girls school centred around Pan Africanism

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Staff Reporter

Forty one years since the 1976 Soweto uprising, young people are changing the narrative around education in the townships by designing a system of their choice. A private all-girls school, Molo Mhlaba, in the heart of Khayelitsha in Cape Town opened its doors in January 2018 and already boasts thirty four learners. The school is centred around the idea of Pan Africanism and is the brain child of 33-year-old Dr Rethabile Sonibare (SHO-NI-BA-RE) and others.

The kids also learn coding, robotics, mathematics, science and engineering.

Daily activities last for 9.5 hours and are made up of yoga, reading and two hot meals.

The challenge that the project addresses:

Khayelitsha is one of South Africa’s biggest and fastest growing townships. It is unfortunately infamous for it’s escalating crime rates, poverty and inequality. Part of the solution to many of Khayelitsha’s problems is providing the youth with opportunities to access quality education.
Molo Mhlaba is located in Khayelitsha specifically in Harare Square. This school is the very first Pan African Girls Private School to be established in Khayelitsha.
One of the biggest challenges in Khayelitsha is accessing schools with quality teaching and learning. Molo Mhlaba officially opened it’s doors in 2018 with the support of the Thope Foundation.
It is still teaching learners at foundation phase and hopes to grow throughout the years.
The project responds to the following challenges:

1) Molo Mhlaba aims to provide quality education to young girls in Khayelitsha.

2) It does this by prioritizing access and charging low tuition fees.
The focus is primarily on girls because they are faced by various obstacles in society.

3)The school is inspired by the Montessori approach where the learners are taught in a fun, playful and creative environment.

4)The school provides a bilingual language setting where learners are taught in Xhosa and English.

5) In a township notorious for escalating crimes rates, Molo Mhlaba provides a safe learning environment to young girls. Therefore the extended school day ensures that the learners are safe and take part in fun activities while their parents are still at work.

Describe the project’s impact:

1) Molo Mhlaba is not your conventional school. Therefore this school has had a massive impact in bringing the community together. It requires frequent parental engagement in that parents or guardians are required to spend a specific amount of hours per year actively and positively contributing skills and being present in their children’s schooling career.

2) The young learners at Molo Mhlaba are continuously being exposed to the various opportunities that exist in the world and are learning to view the world in a different lens.

3) Molo Mhlaba is a school established by black women and it is ran by black women and teaches amazing black girls at a foundation phase level.

4) Molo Mhlaba is cognisant of the social realities and it therefore provides the learners with two nutritious meals a day.

Original video by SABC Digital News.

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