Tsoseletso High School pupils in Bloemfontein had the opportunity to visit Germany during 2018/19 through the German Youth Exchange Programme. This came as over 50 pupils from the programme in the Free State had visited the country since the start of the programme.
Enthusiastic German teacher at Tsoseletso, Elna van Rensburg, told Bloemfontein Courant how excited she was about the programme where young stars get to visit the country and learn about different cultures and religions.
She said this is such an important programme as it has the potential to develop and nurture the skills of these learners. “As we are a German partner school, we were able to send three learners on a Start-Up! Business Plan seminar to Berlin in August 2018,” Van Rensburg said.
“In July 2018 we also sent two learners to our PASCH (Schools: Partners for the Future) Youth Course in Hohebuch, Germany. The three learners on the Youth Exchange to Germany have also returned recently. With the help of our sponsors, many of our learners could visit Germany, including attending a language course in Munich,” she added.
One of the pupils who has benefited from the programme, Lebohang Lechoano, told Bloemfontein Courant that one of the most valuable things she learnt while on a trip to Germany is the discipline to always be on time and do things with diligence. She said, as opposed to the South African tendency where pupils are sometimes in trouble for unruly and disruptive behaviour, the German pupils are focused and respect their education.
Van Rensburg said she was grateful to the private donors who had helped them. She told Bloemfontein Courant that three students received R20 000 donation each last year. She also thanked the former FS Premier, Ace Magashule after he had donated
R350 000 to the programme. During their visit to Germany, each pupil received about R2000 in South African currency to sustain them while enjoying the German culture.
Another beneficiary, the 23-year-old Rethabile Mokupi, who took German as a subject in grade 11 and was then chosen for the trip after attaining a top learner position, said having been there for almost four months was a life-changing experience. “I learnt to engage with various groups of people. I learnt about their culture and history. Germany is known for its advanced technology and having been there, I can attest to that. We are a hard-working nation but we still have a long way to go.” – Lucky Nkuyane