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SHARING GLOBAL FOOTSTEPS WITH THERESA MAY


As a teacher of The Whitby High School I was most honoured to be able to share the dedication and hard work of the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms Partnership, which is our partner school ID Mkhize school Cape Town.  Imagine the honour of greeting our UK current Prime Minister, Theresa May for her first official visit to South Africa!


 On landing in Cape Town we were thrilled to be chosen as her first port of call. Preparing for weeks together across the globe we wowed her with a world class South African cultural welcome.


 To give you some background, I flew to Cape Town South Africa to showcase the wonderful hard work that our global partnership has been working towards for the past 7 years. It was hard but vital to keep this trip a complete secret with friends and colleagues, as her security was paramount. I am always made to feel so welcome by the Principal Mr Zola Pahlana and my global teacher counterpart, Mr Josephat Mukwarami. So much so it feels like a second home.


Mrs May arrived early morning to a warm welcome by the children of neighbouring Sokhanyo Primary School, with parading drum majorettes, all kitted out, waving British flags in a tribute to her arrival.


In the spirit of the positive atmosphere Mrs May delighted and surprised us all by joining in the joyful enthralling musical performance. The rhythmic tones of the marimba band left one feeling with little option but to join in, and this she did.  What a great sport she was! This impressed the leadership and school children who were present, in no small way. Prepared to put her British reserve to one side and to forget about politics for 30 minutes she embraced and endeared her human side and enjoyed every moment of visiting the school. From a British point of view, I felt very honoured to be in her presence and acknowledge her spontaneous approach to their culture. This took place outside the Global Shop- a collaborative project completed in February this year by The Whitby High school students to encourage global enterprise being able to understand small business profit and loss.


 Mr Zola Pahlana personally acknowledged both schools and both drivers in the partnership to Mrs May and everyone present. Both National anthems were sung beautifully by the choir of ID Mkhize. The education minister for South Africa, Angie Motshekga was present, whilst the new South African President Cyril Ramaphosa prepared for their trade conference on leaving our school event.


Mrs May addressed in her speech to the children such positive words for the future of the young South Africa, for their future opportunities and aspirations for their Continent and Country. She took time to speak with the students about their futures and the students responded with asking the Prime Minister and the South African Education Minister questions too. It was an absolute honour to be formally introduced to our UK Prime Minster and have the photo opportunity our school will hold as a legacy for the commitment to global diversity with both learners here in the UK and in Gugelethu. I am grateful to have the opportunity to share this amazing experience with my colleague’s family and the rest of the world.


A legacy to treasure.


Krysia Ballance


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