Any parent will tell you that the biggest challenge they have and will ever face is to raise a child properly. Besides seeing to that child’s physical needs, there are intellectual and emotional needs too. And as the child grows older he becomes less dependent on his parents for his physical needs and more for his intellectual and emotional needs – and many times those are a greater challenge to meet than the physical.
A person fortunate enough to own their own home will know that it takes time, effort and resources (all in large enough quantities) to ensure that it remains in a good condition. Every home owner will also know that, despite one’s best efforts, at times you will face challenges that are extremely disheartening…
In July 1975, under the leadership of a few concerned individuals, Surrey Primary school was established, with the intention of eliminating afternoon classes that were held at neighbouring schools. The staff consisted of forty educators with a learner enrolment of more than 1050. With such a number of learners, one can clearly see that there was a dire need for more schools in the community. The learners were mainly from the Surrey Estate and Manenberg areas but after the nation-wide uprising of 1976, Surrey was one of the first schools to welcome learners from Nyanga and Gugulethu.
At thirty eight years old, Surrey is relatively young but has come a long way. However, while we no longer live in such times, 2013 brings its own set of challenges, some more serious than we had to face in 1976.
‘Barriers to learning’ no longer only refer to any physical or mental handicaps a child might have – they also refer to impoverished living conditions, unstable domestic situations and violent areas.
While Surrey strives always for excellence in education, it is no longer merely an institution of learning. It strives to provide much more than just a quality education by;
feeding hungry tummies so that they are able to learn
kindles hobbies and interests, encouraging learners to explore their own talents
providing emotional support when they do not have it at home
creating social and environmental awareness
Educators have become counsellors, parents and friends.
Surrey has become, for most of its learners, not only a school but a home and a haven, with forty or so parents who are trying to see to the physical, intellectual and emotional needs of almost nine hundred children…all while trying to maintain and improve their second ‘home’.