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elizabeth house day

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Elizabeth House Day Report and Guest Speaker speech
Riebeek College Girls’ High School held their annual Elizabeth House Day with the guest speaker being Dr Muki Moeng, the Dean of the Faculty of Education at NMU, a member of both the Council on Higher Education and the NMMU Council, and also Chairperson of the National Education Deans Forum. She was born in Graaff-Reinet, matriculated with exemption and obtained a BA degree at the then UPE. She continued her studies in Education and received a scholarship to study at St Clouds State University in the USA. Her Master’s thesis was, Democracy in Education: a necessity for South Africa and her doctorate thesis was: A Comprehensive University: Constructing an Organisational Identity.  She shared an inspiring message with the staff and learners. Her message was warmly received and motivational. It was indeed an honour for us to meet her and be wowed by her presence, vision and achievements. She emphasised integrity, purpose and told her life story. The girls found in her an excellent role model and walked out the hall believing in the power of their dreams and determination.
She is passionate about student academic development and success. She believes that educators who reflect on their teaching are better able to improve the learning experience and the environment in which it occurs. She foster an environment for critical thinking and paradigm shifts. Her ultimate vision is to educate children for a sustainable Arica.
She shared an inspiring message with the staff and learners. Her message was warmly received and motivational.
Mrs Kieran Stear, principal of Riebeek, said, “ It was indeed an honour for us to meet Dr Moeng. We were all wowed by her presence, vision and achievements. She emphasised integrity, purpose and told her life story. The girls found in her an excellent role model and walked out the hall believing in the power of their dreams and determination. She challenged the girls to believe in themselves, achieve their goals and make a difference. I believe it is important for our girls to be exposed to success stories and for them to see that their attitude determines their altitude and that personal hardships and circumstances can be overcome as stepping stones to a bright future.” 
The learners who belong to Elizabeth House fundraised as part of the House Day initiative and the proceeds will go the Uitenhage Mental Health Association. 
Dr Moeng said the following:
Good morning ladies and gentlemen, good morning girls.
Good morning to the school principal, heads of departments, teachers and learners.
It is a great pleasure for me to be here talking to young people who have the world waiting for them to make a contribution. I am intentionally positioning you as someone who must give and not expect to be given. Not to feel entitled that someone owes you your future. Yes, your parents are responsible for your physical and emotional development; the government is responsible to provide for education, functional schools, water, basic housing, usable roads, and so forth. I believe that once you have the outlook of giving, that is when you find your passion. Life without passion is miserable for you and the people around you. Your passion and your purpose go hand in hand, once you have accepted your purpose and found your passion are you able to leave a fulfilling life. A fulfilling life is not only about possessions, but that inner satisfaction that only you can experience. Sometimes it takes a long time to realise that you are where you are supposed to be and doing what no one else can do the way you do it. Many people can teach, explain theorems, formulas, and idiomatic expressions, but no one explains it like you.
You thus have a responsibility to lead your life responsibly and use the opportunity you have wisely. Many children in South Africa do not have your opportunity. They so wish to have what you have been provided. As a young high school lady and primary school kid, you have so many possibilities. Possibilities remain just that if you do not work hard and put time into realizing your dreams.
I recently published my story of wanting to become a teacher. I have always wanted to become a teacher. There were possibilities, but I had to use every opportunity to make my dream a reality. There were people in my path who helped me to realise my dream. One can never walk alone - there always are people who help you to cross over valleys, climb mountains, run up and down slopes, swim across stormy rivers and at times fly over obstacles. I had to put in time and effort to make my dream come true. That does not mean that there were no obstacles like repeating std 6 three times because of political unrest and being jailed for two months as a 15 year old. Teenage pregnancy was another obstacle and a learning curve. Fortunately, my parents and teachers helped me through that. I did not have to repeat another year because I could study while I was at home and write exams at the end of the year. Why am I telling you all of this, because life happens, and it is how you bounce back that matters. To be able to pick yourself up and believe that tomorrow is another opportunity to do things better and improve.
I went to university to become a teacher. I got what I dreamed of and more. I even got a scholarship to study overseas. I never thought I'd become a lecturer, let alone become a Dean. I thought I would become a school principal, which I believe is a very important job in any country. I am now responsible to prepare and deliver teachers who are well rounded with regard to their content knowledge, understand the context of learners and be agents of social change and hope. That is what drives me everyday. I am passionate about it because I know that it will make a difference and that I am contributing something towards society.
Never underestimate your role as an individual because your journey is someone else's lesson. There are certain lessons that one goes through, some more pleasant than others. Sometimes it appears that others are just having it easy, but do not forget that we all have our challenges and those are personal and should never be compared. If you do that, you will frustrate yourself as life is complex and has no one size fits all formula. That is why learning is such an important and beautiful aspect of life. It helps us to gain perspective so that we can make better judgement. You therefore learn from your own experience and from that of others. There is no wisdom in repeating someone else's mistake. Experiences give you better perspective to know what to ignore and what to pursue.
Integrity is very important in life in general. How many times do we hear someone whisper and say, no one was hurt and no one saw that so I took it or I did it. In order for us to build better lives and certainly a better South Africa, we must start choosing to do the right thing even if there is no one watching. Pick up the piece of paper and throw it in the dust bin, wherever you go. Return the change that you received by mistake; pay back someone that you owe; do not take and keep the uniform that is unmarked; it does not belong to you. Learn to say thank you and please. It starts here, when you are young - with little things. When you are older you will definitely know why it is important to be at work on time, to get your files ready because someone else depends on you to do their job; as an accountant to ethically balance those books; as a lawyer to ethically represent your clients; as a doctor to responsibly examine and diagnose your patients; as a teacher to be in class and teach, and so on. This kind of ethical behavior will help you to also do what is socially just and fair - to speak up when you see that things are not right. It takes courage, respect and mutual vulnerability. It never comes from a place of arrogance, but from a place of concern and honesty.
In conclusion, I believe that we must invest in your future so that we can have a better tomorrow. A tomorrow with possibilities and opportunities. Where every girl and boy can feel that they have a chance in life, no matter what career they would like to pursue. That if they choose to go to a TVET college, they will still get a decent job and be able to make a living. Possibilities of becoming entrepreneurs and help develop the economy of our country. I believe in your abilities to change the world and make it a better place for us all and future generations. Thank you

 June 01, 2018
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