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Durban school 'needs to show much more serious attitude towards transformation'

17 June 2020 4:48 PM
Tags:
Racism
Durban Girls' College

Zanele Mji who matriculated at Durban Girls College several years ago is one of 100 former pupils who demand it to change.

The investigation into allegations of racism at Durban Girls College began this week.

The probe follows a stream of social media posts by former pupils who complained about racial prejudice at the school.

Zanele Mji, who matriculated at Durban Girls College several years ago, is one of 100 former pupils who have written to the school suggesting some of the changes they expect to see.

They have asked the school to include an anti-racism policy that deals with misconduct around racism and discrimination, as well as work on a transformation plan.

We were very particular about voicing our complaints and the fact that institutional racism is a problem at Durban Girls College, systematic racism.

Zanele Mji, Former Durban Girls College pupil

As an institution, Durban Girls College has a lot to reckon with when it comes to the dominance of whiteness as the standard within the school.

Zanele Mji, Former Durban Girls College pupil

We want the school to be very transparent and very clear about how they are caring for and protecting the girls who have been victimised and those who have spoken out.

Zanele Mji, Former Durban Girls College pupil

We all have different experiences when it comes to what was done about our individual experiences but I will say for myself that there was never really a sense that us raising the issue led to actual systematic long-lasting change.

Zanele Mji, Former Durban Girls College pupil

What spurred us to action is it was actually disturbing how similar the incidents that the girls at the school are complaining about now we went through back then.

Zanele Mji, Former Durban Girls College pupil

Social media law expert Verlie Oosthuizen is on the Durban Girls College board of governors.

Acknowledging and agreeing with Miji's concerns, Oosthuizen says they will rely heavily on the assistance of Old Girls to make the transformation plan.

She has detailed some of the work that has been done so far.

We have started to engage with other private schools that have been going through this process for the last 18 months ... and we are hopeful that we can make some lasting change.

Verlie Oosthuizen, Member of Durban Girls College board of governors

I couldn't actually agree more with what Zanele has said. In terms of this is a long process, that this is something that we are going to require a lot of assistance with in terms of Old Girls and them coming to us with their lived experience in assisting to make the transformation plan.

Verlie Oosthuizen, Member of Durban Girls College board of governors

Click on the link below to hear the full interview....


17 June 2020 4:48 PM
Tags:
Racism
Durban Girls' College

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