Molo Mhlaba: A Pan-African iSTEAM primary schools for girls

Molo Mhlaba: A Pan-African iSTEAM primary schools for girls

Sihle Nontshokweni recently met with the Molo Mhlaba team to learn more about the vision of their upcoming school.

molo mhlaba

By Sihle Isipho Nontshokweni

Molo Mhlaba is a network of Pan-African iSTEAM (Innovation, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) primary schools for girls who aim to educate girls from pre-primary up to primary school level.

This project offers an alternative pathway for primary education in South Africa. Commonly, to attain high-quality education children from low-income communities have had to shun black and colored schools adjacent to their homes, refusing to be trapped by geography. On the daily, they are transported past railways and bridges, tearing down soft zonings and apartheid spatial engineering to access the likes of “Model C” schools.

Starting from 2018 they will receive their first intake of 60 learners. The energy and passion this team carries for their work is palpable and contagious. This is demonstrated in the words shared by Rethabile Mashale, Director of Molo Mhlaba:

“Once you see the complex challenges these children face, and upon witnessing the impact that your work can make- you can’t help but think, keep working- keep working- you’ll sleep when you’re dead” says Mashale.

The Molo Mhlaba schools are changing this narrative; that to access good education, you ought not to move further away from home. Their first school will be launched in Khayelistha, a township area in Cape Town. Their broader vision is to launch high quality schools across South Africa in low-income communities.
Till now, there have been no iSTEAM schools targeted at grooming girls in low income communities. This alternative promises to cultivate the potentials of girl learners whilst nurturing and affirming their African identity and womanhood. Through a pan African perspective, these schools seek to groom the next generation of young woman leaders, without exposing them to the aggressive assimilationist script that has characterized most Model C schools.

To learn more visit http://www.molomhlaba.org

Our contributor, Sihle Nontshokweni, hails from the Eastern Cape. Her primary research is on education change, with a focus on social cohesion is formerly White only schools. She identifies as a writer and storyteller. Her short stories and thought-provoking pieces on social dichotomies can be found on sihlesapplecrunch.com
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