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Archive | hantam diary 2013

Tribute to Nelson Madiba

nelson mandela for hcet

The Hantam Community Education Trust mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela. He was and remains our inspiration. May his hopes for the education of South Africa’s children live on in our collective work.

Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that a peasant’s daughter can become a doctor, that the son of mine worker can become the head of the mine, that the child of farm workers can become the president of a country. – Nelson Mandela

Death of Angelina Allens

angelina allens with learners
Angelina Allens, who taught special needs children at the HCET, died suddenly in early November 2013. She was buried at Grootfontein after a service at Hanglip Farm.

Angelina, the daughter of Dawid and Taisie Allens, was born on Grootfontein Farm on 29 June 1981. She attended the Poortjie Farm School, the Umthombo Wolwazi Combined Farm School at the HCET, and a high school in Michell’s Plain in Cape Town. She then studied at the Motheo Further Education and Training College in Bloemfontein.

She started working at Umthombo Wolwazi in 2005. During her eight years at the Trust, she completed a course in Early Childhood Development at Khululeka in Queenstown, and obtained a Higher Certificate in ECD (NQF Level 5) at the Custoda Trust in Delportshoop.

Angelina impressed everyone with her dedication and commitment to her work. She was a beloved friend and colleague, and will be missed by all.

HCET graduate chosen as head boy

fransie boorman

Fransie Boorman, second from the left, an HCET graduate and bursary holder, has been chosen as Head Boy of Colesberg High School and Head Boy of the school hostel for 2014.

Maths performance analysed

The HCET has commissioned Aarnout Brombacher of Brombacher & Associates to analyse performance levels in mathematics in every grade and educational phase, and identify the interventions necessary to address gaps and shortcomings. He spent a week at the school in early September, and is seen with the Grade 3 class in the picture below.

Brombacher & Associates is a consultancy in the field of mathematics education, founded in 2003 by Aarnout Brombacher, a mathematics teacher and leader in the South African mathematics education community. It focuses on teacher training and development, materials development, and research.

For more details, visit

brombacher at hcet


Grade 3 and 5 camps at Poplar Grove

In September, the Grade 3 and Grade 5 classes and their teachers spent two days each with teacher developer Margie Osler on Poplar Grove Farm¸ in order to reinforce teaching and learning methods and processes.

Fun activities with a learning content included walking trails with various challenges, including balancing on fallen trees; walking a labyrinth; climbing koppies; and making music. But some activities  – like swimming in the farm dam – were just for fun !

poplar grove 1 poplar grove 2 poplar grove 3 poplar grove 4 poplar grove 5 poplar grove 6


Estelle Jacobs receives US recognition

estelle jacobs receives paul harris fellowship

The Rotary Club of Carroll Creek in the state of Maryland in the United States recently honoured Estelle Jacobs, the HCET’s project manager, by naming her a Paul Harris Fellow.

Estelle was recognised for her efforts – in collaboration with the organisation Hope in Africa – to promote the health and well-being of children in the Northern Cape.

Hope in South Africa is a global partnership which helps young people in the Karoo to become healthy and responsible citizens. It is active in Colesberg, Richmond and De Aar. The Colesberg Rotary Club, of which Estelle is a member, has been guiding its work in Richmond in particular.

More specifically, Estelle has played a key role in promoting and implementing programmes for increasing awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and HIV/AIDS among young people in the area.

Estelle received a certificate, lapel pin and medallion from the President of the Carrol Creek Rotary Club, Fred Genau, at a ceremony held in Washington DC on 3 July 2013. Her trip to the United States was sponsored by Hope in South Africa.

Pictured at the ceremony are Fred Genau, president of the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek; Rotarian Jonathan Warner; Rotarian Estelle Jacobs; Rotarian Olivia White; and Joel Tjornehoj, President of Hope in South Africa.

Basic Concepts Expo Day

les osler at bcp expo day

LESLEY Osler, the HCET’s project co-ordinator, recently addressed the first Basic Concepts Programme Expo Day, held at the Cape Town Science Centre on 24 August 2013. She was accompanied by Estelle Jacobs, the HCET’s project manager.

Attended by 40 delegates, the event was hosted by ORT SA-CAPE, and opened by its director, Dr Lydia Abel. It was also addressed by Dr Louis Benjamin, creator of the Basic Concepts Programme, which has been implemented at the HCET for the past eight years.

The day’s events comprised a series of presentations, small group interactive sessions, and a panel discussion aimed at establishing effective support networks for BCP mediators. Among others, participants decided to hold a bi-monthly support group meeting for all BCP mediators at the Cape Town Science Centre. A practitioner zone is also being developed on the Basic Concepts Unlimited website.

ORT SA CAPE is an NGO which seeks to enrich education in impoverished schools and communities in the Western Cape. It is affiliated to ORT SA, which operates in very poor and disadvantaged areas throughout the country. ORT SA, in turn, forms part of World ORT, an international educational NGO established in 1880.

Visit from Tjhabelang

IN JULY 2013, the HCET received a visit from Engela Fourie, project manager of Tjhabelang, an educational project in Bloemfontein from ECD up to Grade 3. Following her visit, she wrote the following letter:

Dear Lesley

Thank you for the opportunity to visit Hantam once again and for explaining your operational plan. You and your team are a great inspiration, and have already played a major role in what Tjhabelang has accomplished up to now.

From our point of view, the visit was extremely fruitful; we now have a much clearer indication of how to proceed.We returned to Bloemfontein inspired but realizing the amount of dedication and hard work that lies ahead  if we want to bring about meaningful change in the Bainsvlei area.

In order to move forward, it is perhaps important for Suné van der Merwe, our principal, to visit the HCET very soon and if possible to stay for a day or more to observe how you implement the Basic Concepts Programme in the classroom context.

I realise the necessity for interventions such as the Basic Concepts Programme and others which you are utilising to enrich and improve the learning experience of our children, and to ensure more permanent change in the community.

Congratulations with what you have achieved; I was truly impressed and overwhelmed by the continuous growth of your project.

Kind regards

Engela Fourie

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome training

HCET teachers with FAS certificatesFive teachers from the Hantam Community Education Trust received FASfacts certificates last week following three days of training in Colesberg by Herschell Barron of FASfacts in Worcester.

From left to right are Roos Pergoo, Vuyokazi Katise, Lettie Martins, Chrissie Swarts (Richmond), Angelina Allers and Hanna Mphemba.

FASfacts is an NGO which aims to educate the general public about the effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy on unborn babies, as well as the influence of people with FAS on other people and the broader community in general. For more information about FASfacts, see

Science trip to Graaff-Reinet

hcet science trip to graaff-reinet

EARLIER this year, Grade Nines undertook a three-day science trip centred on Graaff-Reinet. Led by Lucien Pienaar and Jan Augustyn, the trip was highly successful, and the group had a great time.

On day one, the group travelled from Colesberg to Graaff-Reinet, viewing fossils and Bushmen paintings on the way. In the afternoon they visited the Valley of Desolation outside Graaff-Reinet, accompanied by guides from the Department of Nature Conservation. That evening they arrived at the Camdeboo Environmental Education Centre, a dedicated educational centre with its own accommodation in the Camdeboo National Park.

The next day, the group went on the Camdeboo Orientation Trail, enjoyed lectures on conservation, the ecology, animals and spoors, went on a spoor hunt, and went on a night game walk to experience night food chains in the wild.

On the last day, the group explored Graaff-Reinet, including visits to the Graaff-Reinet Museum, the Montego dog food factory, and Karoo Taxidermy, a large taxidemy business based in Graaff-Reinet which specialises in preparing trophies for local and foreign hunters. Karoo Taxidermy takes pride in its progressive and responsble practices. For many learners, visiting this modern facility and viewing the dramatic full-size trophies of large animals such as giraffes and elephants was the highlight of the trip.