Shikaya and Facing History and Ourselves
For the first Shikaya event of 2012 held in January, Karen Murphy, Director of International Programmes from our partner organisation, Facing History and Ourselves, gave a workshop on homophobia. This is a critical issue in South Africa and has been particularly highlighted in the Western Cape with the consistent delays in the trial of the alleged murderers of Zoliswa Nkonyana in 2006 – a 19-year-old woman who was allegedly murdered because she lived openly as a lesbian.
We looked at questions such as: What are the conscious or unconscious attitudes that we are passing on to our learners? What frame of reference does our Constitution provide for us to think about homophobia? How safe are our schools and our classrooms? What role can we as teachers play in closing the gap between the vision of the Constitution and the reality of society?
This workshop provided an opportunity to engage critically with and learn more about these important issues as well as acquire strategies for bringing them into our classroom within the context of the content in the curriculum. Participants were introduced to a range of resources for classroom use.
“It was very informative. The workshop gave me so much to think about. I want to work on making my school an intermediate space, a place where we leave our stuff behind and respect our constitution and each other’s rights!”
“It was very useful and challenging. It has provoked me as an adult to be responsible and take a lead.”
“It was useful. We do understand that there are gay and lesbian learners in our schools and we discourage them whereas the constitution safe guards their rights. The duty of teachers is to make our learners respect the constitution. Teachers need to play a role and this workshop will help me a lot in teaching learners to be tolerant and respect the rights of others.”
” I found the workshop useful because it made me think of issues I’ve never thought of before. there are strategies that I can now implement. I will pass on this informationto my colleagues.”
“yes, certainly this ia very silent enemy in our emerging society- I ha d the chance to consider the impact in our school enviroment and think more deeply about how to address it positively- a very stimulating workshop, Thank you!”