Our Piece of Peace

Today our students get together to bring their ‘piece of peace’ in a gesture that, I believe, typifies international schools around the world. Madiba is, I believe, right on track when he points to the following:

Nelson-Mandela-Quotes-7

I began my teaching career in apartheid-era South Africa, and was fortunate to teach in the only ‘mixed’ school in the Eastern Cape – a geographical area similar in size to Switzerland – and the only such school in the region. We held similar events then to the ‘Piece of Peace’, watched by the police, and not particularly well supported by our neighbours. The school leadership never wavered in the face of significant opposition – students shot and arrested in townships, our school bus petrol bombed, our sport teams barred from participation. I often wonder how our school families reflect on those times, and if they recognize the significance of their contributions to the creation of a better world.

Some may say that idealism has no place in our ‘real’ world. I could not be in greater disagreement with that. Education has a critical role to play in moving towards a world where greater equity is a real possibility. International schools will continue to lead in this. And should we think this to be impossible, let’s reflect on the following:

Nelson-Mandela-Quotes-16

Richard Swart
Director ISBerne



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