A school home that creates hope


By Louis Dekker

“A symbol of hope”, “a beacon for our Afrikaans language and cultural community”, “a historic moment”, “an inspiring morning”, “a dream come true”.

These are just some of the ways in which the morning’s proceedings were referred to during the brand launch of Gimnasium Pretoria. Guests handed out many more compliments after this spectacular function. A golden thread of thorough research, a well-thought-out strategy and a hopeful future for our posterity tied the function together from start to finish.

Gymnasium Pretoria, which will open its doors within the next few years, is a new independent school home in the east of Pretoria that is an example of a community that takes ownership of their children’s education and education.

This school will make a contribution to the survival of the Afrikaans language and culture community through educational excellence and a strong focus on value transfer. A principled foundation will be laid to raise children with character who are emotionally and socially equipped to help build a bright future as members of the community.

The symbolism behind the school’s emblem, the iconic pioneer house, is the following:

  • a broad strong foundation on which the school establishes the foundation, which begins at home;
  • an open door that is welcoming and encourages open thinking;
  • a pencil pointing upwards and representing the school’s Christian values ​​and ethos;
  • wings signifying the embrace of teachers, parents and the community; and finally,
  • the ridge of the roof and the diamond shapes that represent the connection with Akademia and the Solidarity Movement.

The school’s name was also chosen with careful consideration and has its origins in the ancient Greek communities that aimed to lead children to physical, mental and spiritual maturity. So balanced involved children. Gymnasiums also arose in old Germany in the 16th century to train teachers. These educational institutions have spread worldwide. In South Africa, some of the first Afrikaans schools, which were connected to Universities, were also called Gymnasiums.

With the prospect of a future community concession, Gimnasium Pretoria is going to be much more than a new school opening its doors. Gym will be a balanced combination of the traditional and the modern. This is an important step in the survival of Afrikaans education as well as the preservation and development of our heritage, measured against the highest standards.

Gymnasium strives to send balanced, secure, lively and studious children into the future. Children who maintain healthy relationships and can make a contribution in modern society. Children who are culturally connected but will be internationally competitive. And most importantly, children with a Christian worldview who are still going to change the world!

At Gimnasium Pretoria we believe that we can prepare children for the future by imparting the right skills to them. Together with traditional skills such as communication, cooperation and creativity, Gimnasium Pretoria wants to send children into the world with a strong character and with cultural confidence who can also think critically.

However, it is not a substitute for our current school system, but rather complementary to it. Gymnasium Pretoria is the future of sustainable Afrikaans education, when excellent schools, in a rapidly changing and complex education system, are no longer allowed to do what they are brilliant at.

This school, which is part of the Solidarity Movement and stands in a strong partnership with the Solidarity School Support Center (SOS), was born from a multidimensional strategy of building and maintaining.

Firstly, there is a clear focus on the preservation of already excellent Afrikaans schools, and cooperation with the SOS ensures that teachers have continuous access to innovative teaching training and resources. Secondly, a “build” strategy is implemented to create a blueprint for new independent schools in communities where there is a need. The locations of Gimnasium Pretoria, and the later concession schools, will be determined precisely with thorough research and in consultation with numerous role players. The partnership between the SOS and Gimnasium Pretoria enables the implementation of advanced teaching methods and a future-oriented learning environment.

May Gymnasium Pretoria remind us of the strength and resilience of our community. May the school inspire other institutions and together with many other organizations ensure the sustainability of our mother tongue in schools. May Gymnasium Pretoria and the accompanying community concession enable us to create for our children the opportunity to flourish and to reach their full potential.

With exciting times ahead, everyone is encouraged to share and get involved in the journey. Look out for some milestones in the future, which include the launch of the school, the start of construction, the first appointments and enrollments and many more.

Please visit the school’s website, www.gimnasium.co.za, and social media pages for news, updated information and other interesting reading material.

  • Louis Dekker is CEO of Gimnasium Pretoria.