Dear College Parents

The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them - Confucius

The second term at Bishops is always a very busy and challenging one and this year has been no different! We have come to the end of our mid-year exams and now look forward to the Eisteddfod which is one of the cultural highlights of the year. Our final hockey and rugby fixtures of the term take place today and tomorrow against Rondebosch, this fixture is always keenly anticipated and contested. I would like to thank all the parents for their support of their sons and the school this term and trust that you will all enjoy a well-deserved holiday from next Thursday. A reminder that term ends at the conclusion of the Inter-House Singing Competition at His People’s Church on Wednesday evening.

I am very pleased with the performances of our boys this term; the Assembly Notices today are another example of the fantastic achievements in a range of activities


This week I want to focus on two special days; as you all know on Tuesday we celebrated Youth Day. The origins of Youth Day go back to the 16th June 1976 when more than 20 000 pupils from Soweto marched in protest against the legislation that Afrikaans would be enforced on the same basis as English as the official language of instruction. This was however symptomatic of the broader problem of the unjust Bantu Education system at the time. Unfortunately 21 years into the new democratic South Africa nothing has really changed in terms of delivery of quality education for the majority of young South Africans. As an example; of the 1.1 million children who started school in Grade 1 in 2003, only 550 000 students wrote matric in 2014 which means that in 12 years there was a drop-out of 500 000 students.

Put another way; of every 100 pupils who started in Grade 1 in 2003, only 48 reached matric in 2014, only 36 passed and only 14 qualified to go to university. The results in Maths and Science are even more depressing than that. In addition to this, South Africa’s youth make up half its population, with up to 42% of young people under the age of 30 being unemployed. The fact that we are failing dismally in our efforts to provide a quality education for all means that we are falling far short of reaching the dream of a “rainbow nation” which was the promise of post-Apartheid South Africa.

For us at Bishops Youth Day should be a sobering time as we reflect on our own privilege and the importance of being informed and aware of the reality for the majority of young people in this country.

The 2nd much happier day that we celebrate is Father’s Day on Sunday. We know how important Dads are in the lives of their sons and I trust that this will be a day of appreciation for all of you. I particularly like this piece which I think sums up the different stages of a boy’s perception of his father very well:

4 years old: My Daddy can do anything!
5 years old: My Daddy knows a whole lot and is bigger and stronger than yours!
6 years old: My Daddy is smarter than your Dad!
8 years old: My Dad doesn’t know exactly everything!
10 years old: In the olden days when my Dad grew up, things sure were different.
12 years old: Oh well naturally, Father doesn’t know anything about that. He is too old to remember his childhood.
14 years old: Don’t pay any attention to my Father. He is old fashioned.
18 years old: Him? No ways man, he is hopelessly out of date, he is not even on Facebook!
25 years old: Dad knows a little bit about it, but then he should because he has been around a long time.
30 years old: Perhaps we should ask Dad what he thinks. After all, he has had a lot of experience.
35 years old: I am not doing a single thing until I talk to Dad.
50 years old: I’d give anything if Dad were here now so I could talk this over with him. I miss him and wish I appreciated how smart he was, I could have learnt a lot from him.

In closing, I would like to wish you all the best in your encounters on the hockey and rugby fields against Rondebosch today and tomorrow. Let us all get out and support our first team hockey at 5:45 this evening and the first team rugby at 11:30 tomorrow and let us make it a memorable encounter on and off the field.

I wish you all well in the Eisteddfod next week, this is a highlight of the cultural programme and a wonderful way to finish off the term. Please support the participants in the variety of events which take place on Tuesday and Wednesday and we look forward to a wonderful finale with the Inter-House Singing Competition at His People’s Church on Wednesday evening. After that I wish you all a well-deserved holiday!

Yours sincerely
Guy Pearson
Contact the Principal