RIGHT OF REPLY: As Curro, we have zero tolerance for any form of cyber bullying, discriminatory behaviour, racism, derogatory language, or any ill-informed comments reflecting negatively on the important work we do to raise the future leaders of South Africa.
On 29 June 2020 The Citizen published and posted an article under the name of “Staff writer” and which dealt with “A video accusing Curro of racism resurfaces on Twitter. A 2015 video found its way into 2020 and people are still reacting”.
Curro was not approached by The Citizen for commentary before the publication and posting of the article. Curro acknowledges The Citizen’s apology for the oversight and duly accept same in the spirit of professional cooperation and working relationships with the media, which Curro values and aspire to at all times.
Curro also expresses its gratitude to The Citizen for extending an invitation to Curro to indeed provide the correct context to the subject matter.
Curro has a zero tolerance when it comes to any form of discrimination to an individual, whether it is against a learner, a teacher, any other staff member or any parent. Curro will always express these sentiments when confronted with any form of discrimination within its midst.
The subject video of which the said report alluded to, relates to an alleged incident of racial discrimination and/or segregation that took place at Curro Roodeplaat. The incident related to a division of classes in 2015. The division of classes was alleged to have been made according to the race of the learners due to certain classes having only had white learners in the said classes. A complaint was lodged with the Gauteng Department of Education (“GDE”). The honourable MEC for Education, Mr Panyasa Lesufi, instructed an independent law firm to conduct an in depth investigation of the alleged racial discrimination. The investigation was later expanded to cover an investigation into the possibility of racial practises at all the Curro schools within the Gauteng Province. The law firm issued a formal report to the GDE and it was found that Curro was not guilty of any racial discrimination. The segregation of the said classes was not done on any racial grounds but based on the division between Afrikaans medium classes and English medium classes. Curro then had separate Afrikaans and separate English classes at most schools. That practice has changed.
In 2018 Curro was again challenged with allegations of racial discrimination at the Curro Waterfall Castle (Pre-school). There was no investigation from the GDE, but the South African Human Rights Commission (“SAHRC”) did conduct an investigation. The report issued by the SAHRC confirmed that Curro was not guilty of any racial discrimination.
Curro has made a conscientious decision after both incidents to have a close working relationship with both the GDE (and other provincial education departments) and the SAHRC. Both entities eagerly engage with Page 2
Curro if there are any alleged racial, or other transgressions of a discriminatory nature and will always provide Curro with professional advices when and where required. Curro also endeavours to attend to any alleged incident of racial, or other, discrimination with urgency and utilises mediators, counsellors and/or transformation and diversity experts to assist if needed.
As Curro, we have zero tolerance for any form of cyber bullying, discriminatory behaviour, racism, derogatory language, or any ill-informed comments reflecting negatively on the important work we do to raise the future leaders of South Africa.
Marie Lategan is the executive for marketing and communication for Curro Holdings Limited.
It looks like South Africa might just have another star in the making. Kamvalethu Jonas, a Grade 4 learner at Curro Rivonia, has been cast to star in a lead role for an upcoming movie titled Mlungu Wam.
According to the Cape Town-based production company, Fox Fire Films, the movie is a social satire set in the suburbs of Cape Town and follows the journey of a single mother, Tsidi and her daughter Winnie, played by young Jonas. They are forced to move in with Tsidi’s estranged mother, Mavis, who is a live-in domestic worker, caring for the same bed-ridden lady for whom she has worked for the past 30 years.
Click here to read the full article.
We lived 20 kilometres (12miles) from school so I had to rely on lifts to get there and back. A 40km roundtrip. I grew up on in the Botshabelo village in Mpumalanga, South Africa.
Sometimes it would take me forever to get back home from school in the afternoons because I had to wait long for a kind stranger to give me a lift.
My single-parent mother was unemployed so eventually, it became more difficult to arrange lifts because some people expected money and I couldn’t afford to pay them.
Click here to read the rest of Phillimon's story.
Microsoft Minecraft’s educational edition has been part of the curriculum at many Curro schools, as it allows for the development of skills such as collaboration, strategic thinking, and decision-making. So, when lockdown struck and Curro Sport announced the world’s first school-level Minecraft e-sport league, the response from learners and teachers was overwhelming.
Games were scheduled for an hour in the afternoons. Two teams (four learners each) would meet in the Pirate Cove Make and Model arena – a virtual world specifically created in Minecraft to host competitive gameplay. The teams were then tasked to each build a specific object (such as cannons, parrots, pirate ships and treasure chests – in keeping to the pirate theme of the arena) using the 3D building blocks from the Minecraft world.
The teacher that hosts the game is also the judge, allocating points according to a specific judging rubric. Teams score points for the likeness of their build, the use of colour, effective teamwork, added aesthetics and environment, the use of space through size and scale, and more.
With more leagues planned in the near future, the winning team of the first-ever league is team B1 EnderKnights from Curro Aurora. In an extra hat-tip, both teams from Curro Aurora made it to the final round!
During the height of lockdown, learners at Curro’s schools couldn’t get together to play traditional sports. Instead, they turned to super-popular game Minecraft – and they’ve managed to turn a famously relaxing building-game into a competition, with the finals of the Curro Clash Minecraft Esport League livestreamed on 11 July.
According to Angela Schaerer, technology business relationships manager at Curro, “during lockdown esports became an amazing opportunity because learners couldn’t connect via traditional sports or clubs. The online world of Minecraft creates a perfect digital environment for learners to collaborate and play.”
Read the full article on Business Insider.
To end the second term on a (literal) high point, Curro Waterfall hosted a drone-flying competition in which Grade 8 and Grade 9 learners showcased what they learned so far during the year.
Learners maintained social distancing by connecting to Wi-Fi with their smartphones, and were assessed on their ability to work collaboratively and solve problems while maneuvering their drones through an obstacle course.
Read the full article on Midrand Reporter’s website.
THE Curro family are stepping up to the plate for those in need on Nelson Mandela International Day. Curro
Sport will host a Family 5km Walk to Freedom virtual event.
Curro pupils, their families and staff are encouraged to take part in the walk and do it in their neighbourhood any time between 6am and 6pm on July 18. Those who enter the event will need to donate a food item in honour of Mandela Day.
Each school will identify their own charity and distribute the food accordingly. Head boy and Grade 12 pupil at Curro Durbanville, Elona Fikani, said the virtual event is a wonderful idea during these times.
“It is a great way to unite people for a good cause as well as encourage physical activity for families. Nelson Mandela International Day will always be an important day. It reminds us of the daily struggles of the past as well as the many heroes that fought for our freedom. This is also a day that calls to the general public and reminds them that everyone can contribute to a change that betters society as a whole,” Elona said.
Project manager at Curro Sport, Cindy van der Merwe, said: “Mandela
Day falls on a Saturday and the idea is for our Curro families to spend quality time together in nature and have fun as one united family. If they can help others in the process, even better.
“The walk is in honour of charity thus addressing the social responsibility that Curro wants to fulfil as setting an example to the broader community of South Africa,” she said.
Van der Merwe added that a healthy body cultivates an open mindset. “Keeping the Curro family active can radiate both a positive mind, creative thinking, and stay physically healthy. It takes a village to raise a family and that’s why it’s important to give back.”
Johannesburg, 07 July 2020: In a world first, Curro, South Africa’s largest independent education provider, is the first academic institution to officially use Minecraft: Education Edition as an esports arena. For the past month, Curro learners from age 9-14 have been taking part in the inaugural Curro Clash Minecraft Esport League, where teams have been competitively building pirate-themed items within the Minecraft world. Curro has been at the fore of technology for years, and has easily been able to incorporate the world of online gaming in a fun educational manner.
Curro’s push towards a competitive esport league was led by Cindy van der Merwe, Project Manager: Curro Sport, and Angela Schaerer, Technology Business Relationships Manager at Curro. Schaerer notes, “during lockdown esports became an amazing opportunity because learners couldn’t connect via traditional sports or clubs. The online world of Minecraft creates a perfect digital environment for learners to collaborate and play.”
The finals will be live streamed across the globe for viewers to watch, as Curro makes esport history. The finals event shoutcasting (commentary) will be handled by Stephen Reid, Senior Customer Engagement Program Manager at Microsoft. Reid is a leader in the field of game-based learning and is responsible for creating the esports platform within Minecraft: Education Edition. Curro has worked closely alongside Reid to make this competitive Minecraft tournament a reality, in the process, being the first school in the world to do so, as well as piloting the project for Microsoft, owner of Minecraft.
Minecraft: Education Edition is used in schools in more than 115 countries to facilitate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning and to aid in the development of skills for the fourth industrial revolution, including problem solving, creativity, team management and critical thinking. Across the globe, 126 million people are playing Minecraft each month, with all Curro learners able to play Minecraft: Education Edition for free as part of their school technology provision.
How competitive Minecraft works
The Curro Clash Minecraft Esport League has seen a major response from learners across different Curro schools in South Africa, with the league accommodating 200 learners. 20 teams consisting of up to 10 players each have been taking part, with the league having kicked off on 22 June.
Competitive matches consist of a relatively simple premise. Two teams meet in the Pirate Cove Make and Model arena, a virtual world specifically created in Minecraft to host competitive gameplay. The teams are then tasked to each build a specific object (such as cannons, parrots, pirate ships and treasure chests – in keeping to the pirate theme of the arena) using the 3D building blocks from the Minecraft world, having 30 minutes to do so.
The teacher that hosts the game is also the judge, allocating points according to a specific judging rubric. Teams score for, amongst others, the likeness of their build, the use of colour, effective teamwork, added aesthetics and environment, and the use of space through size and scale.
Curro Clash Minecraft Esport League Finals to be live streamed, ‘shoutcasted’
“Piloting this project for Microsoft has been a privilege, and to see the enthusiasm of both the learners and teachers towards this Minecraft competition has been inspiring,” states Schaerer. “To experience how these players work together to build these incredibly detailed structures is remarkable,” she concludes.
The Curro Clash Minecraft Esport League is now heading towards the finish line, with the semi-finals set to take place on Thursday, 9 July. The finals, promoted by the exclusive broadcaster SEI TV, will be livestreamed at 16:00 on Saturday, 11 July, and can be followed by clicking here.
In June, Curro Sport challenged their learners and staff to a first ever virtual relay championship. The format of the championship consisted of a relay race of four team members from the same Curro school, each running one kilometre on the same day, but at the time best suited to their daily programme. They competed in under 10, under 12, under 14, under 16 and under 18 age groups and the categories included boys’, girls’, and mixed teams. The Curro staff had a category of their own, consisting of two men and two women per team. Each captain had to submit screenshots as proof of the time, date and distance that each member completed by 16:00 every Friday. Every Monday, a weekly leader board was posted on Curro Sport’s Facebook and Instagram pages when teams were encouraged to challenge these times for that national title.
A big thank you to all schools and staff who participated – 61 learner and 12 staff teams. We believe you had as much fun as we did. Watch out for the inter-Curro virtual duathlon championships happening in July. The format is 2-km run; 5-km cycle and 1-km run.
Congratulations to our Curro champions: The winning team each received a R400 Sportsmans Warehouse voucher!
Run the distance, pass the baton, be the champion!