About this Project

This project involved:

1. Meeting Soutpansberg Reformed Church leaders, elders and teachers March 16-18, 2015 to discuss and plan the foundations for starting Christian schools in the Pretoria-Johannesburg (Gauteng) area. Peter Van Huizen was able to share some expertise and advice on this development process together with Dr. Tshililo Liphadzi, Principal of the Heidelberg Seminary and Institute, and pastor of Midrand Reformed Church.

These schools are being explored by Reformed Venda Christians.  Since 1994 (post-apartheid), the opportunity exists for the Venda people to have homes, churches and schools anywhere in South Africa.  In the past they were limited to exercising their rights only in their homelands.  Migration from the Venda homelands has increased substantially over the past years.  Now an emerging population of Reformed black Venda Christians is populating the Gauteng region.  They desire Christian schools for their children, led by Venda teachers.  There are many white-led Afrikaner Reformed Christian schools available, but there is a desire to see black South Africans own their education.  The desire and plan is to begin with preschool classes, and to work together with Christian education networks.

2. Working with Christian school leaders in Limpopo Province to organize and implement an all-day Teachers’ Conference.  The focus of the Gondolikhethwa Christian School Teachers’ Conference on March 26, 2015 was “Preparing our learners for the new South Africa".  The theme was to imagine a society shaped by the Biblical story that begins in the garden and ends in a city – a society where the “tree of life” becomes a metaphor of “hope for the nations”. 

Peter Van Huizen was the keynote speaker for Session 1, sharing Biblical worldview teaching by stepping through Creation, Fall, Restoration and a New Earth. 

Session 2 was a group activity exploring “Imagining a place for your students in the New South Africa”. 

Bill de Jager led the group in Session 3 in a keynote presentation on Strengthening Learning through Christian teachers as Servant Learning-Leaders. 

Finally, Session 4 consisted of a choice of five workshops on the topics of:
• Beauty Creator: Valuing the Arts, Building and Grounds,
• Developing Student Leadership,
• Foundation Phase: Creating a flourishing learning culture
• Special Education: Positive learning experiences for students who struggles
• Senior Students: Creating safe learning spaces to ask difficult questions.

3. Participating in classroom partnership and afterschool workshops at two Christian Schools (Gondolikhethwa CS and Tshikevha CS). 

Special acknowledgements of thanks to Harry and Henny Noordhof, who are Dutch Learning Assistant (Special Education) volunteers at Gondolikhethwa Christian School; also to the Reformed Church of Soutpansberg, and the Gondolikhethwa Christian School Community.
 

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