Last Thursday marked a significant milestone for Breidbach Primary pupils, as the school hosted another successful celebration of its academic and sports achievers.
The event saw top achievers being rewarded with certificates of merit and trophies for their hard work and dedication, with former pupil advocate Fabian Pretorius as the guest speaker.
Breidbach headmaster Gareth Fourie presented an overview of the year on the developments, challenges and progress made at the school.
“We started this year with a lot of challenges such as a shortage of teachers due to educators moving to other schools, as well as our former head Ivan Harry retiring.
“We were in and out of meetings with the department to ensure that we have a teacher in each class, but to no avail,” Fourie said.
“During February, the parents, under the umbrella of South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco), closed the gates of the school in an attempt to force the department to listen to our pleas and through the resilience and determination of the parents, five new teachers were appointed.”
Fourie called on parents to avail themselves for positions left vacant on the governing body and to assist with the discipline of their children.
Pretorius took the audience through some patches of his personal life and spoke about how “adversity must equate a resilient attitude”.
“A character trait of a resilient person is the ability to recover quickly from misfortune, illness or depression,” Pretorius said.
“You don’t allow the situation to dictate, you dictate the situation.”
Addressin the parents and teachers, Pretorius said the young pupils could be moulded but it was important that their souls were not broken “because a broken soul will break another soul”.
Pretorius said after moving from Upington, he started school in Sub A (Grade 1) at Breidbach Primary, and stayed with three other families in a two-room dwelling.
“My father did well in business and bought two houses but soon we lost everything,” Pretorius said.
“It was my father’s inability to recover from the setback of losing everything that stirred and started my attitude of never giving up.”