VP extends its connections abroad

BY MARC JACOBSON - MARCH 3, 2016

Angelique Jennings, teacher at Victoria Park High School (VP) had formed a connection during the World Cup and has, as a result, introduced an exciting prospect for the school.

The school intends to enter into a partnership with the Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium (THG) from Wolfenbüttel in northern Germany.

THG offers extra-mural programmes with much emphasis placed on arts and other cultures, similarly to VP, but in retrospect focuses on multilingualism and offers languages such as English, French, Spanish and Latin.

VP, on behalf of South Africa, will become THG’s third overseas partnership, with the German school already having partnerships with schools in England and France.

Leader of the project, Markus Gerke, said that due to THG being a foreign language inclined school, they would like to pursue positive long-term relations and experiences with other English-speaking countries.

“South Africa sounds very promising to us. We would love to establish a new long-term exchange programme with a South African partner school. We are convinced that South Africa with its culture, history, and people has a lot to offer to our students,” Gerke said.

In order for this partnership to be established, VP will host 12 students and teachers from THG for a visit to Eastern Cape from March 24th to April 9th.

The respective German students will then attend some classes at VP, while being hosted by local families. In order to gain a full perspective and feel of Eastern Cape and its cultures, the students will visit tourist destinations in and around Port Elizabeth, such as Addo Elephant Park and the Garden Route.

Irreversibly, the VP host students and teachers will visit northern Germany later this year. Through these first-hand learned experiences, they will engage in the German lifestyles and living conventions.

“We think it is important that a school exchange is not regarded as some extra holiday time. It is about learning about another culture, developing friendships and building character,” Gerke added.

ImageGerman students who are part of the visiting group are from left (standing) Frederik Pinkau, Svenja Cordes, Lea Heindorf, Kira Vollenweider, Pauline Adam, Katharina Bogun, Mai Britt Berghöfer, Judith Hartwich and Pia Marie Georgieu. In front are German teachers Stefan Brandes and Markus Gerke.