Adopt-a-School Foundation runs an annual writing competition across all adopted schools. The competition aims to encourage learners to think creatively, to express their views and opinions as well as share their personal experiences.
*These essays have not been edited
Name: Thatatsi Ntombifuthi – winner
Grade : 3
School: Olifantsvlei Primary School
Trees are our best friend
When days are dark friends are few but my tree is always there for me. Ever one needs a shouder to cry on when they are not feeling well and my tree. Even no a hot sunny day you need a shaudow to hide on and my shadow is on the tree.
Every day when I come from school and in weekends I spend some time under my peachtree. Sitting under my tree gives me time to be myself, relax and also to meditate. Whenever I am sitting in the shadow of my tree i relax my self by taking out everything that is in my chest.
I talk to my tree about anything and everything I even cry for my tree imagine if it could talk. I trust my tree is the best thing in my life I even hug it I love my tree a lot. I do have friend but I don’t trust them in the someway as I trust my tree.
Guess what my tree has a name. The name of my tree is Joy and she is a girl. Even I play with my toys under Joy. As now it is winter I felt sad because Joy looses all her beautiful leaves and her shadow I wish I can put her inside my house so that she will be warm and beautiful again.
I wish everyone can find themselves a tree to talk to other than trusting a person.
Name: Mosoa Rethabile – 1st runner up
School: Nelson Mandela Primary School
My Favourite Teacher
My favourite teacher is ma’am Tshabalala .I like her because because she likes to give us good lessons every day. She does not like leaners to sit in the classroom, without reading writing and doing math. She makes sure that each leaner has reading and writing material. Best of all she loves and fell us to be serious about our studies. That is why I love her so much.
Mrs Tshabalala tells children to love respect and care for one another. L love her because she keeps us in the playround she has energy, shows us what to do outside. She is my role model and she is very lovely and beautiful.
Mrs Tshabalala likes to tell us stories that are real and encourage us to study our books so that we can have wisdom and understanding young children and tell them to love education as is the way to bright life and future success.
She does not like children who to do not do their homework and study their books. She tells us that when we are lazy to do our school work we are going to suffer and not going to have money as we would have wasted our time and studies she reminds us time is money you will not be able to look after you family and have money to build them a house.
She says we must love our parents and community, proud by studying hard and be responsible to look after our community. She likes showing us her graduation pictures, and tells us she want to see us wearing it. Again being on stage one day when we finish our matric and secondary school education.
I am very thankful and very proud of her because I am able to read, write, count and study in both Sesotho and English. It shows my future is already shining because of her.
Nkhatho Kutloano – 2nd runner up
School: Reaitumela Primary School
My Favourite Teacher
As I walk through the gate of my school, I feel happy because I am going to meet my second mother. Even if I came to school hurt or sad, I get the joy of knowing that I am gonna be comforted by my second mom.
My favourite teacher is Me Maimane. She teaches mathemathics, English, Sesotho and Lifeskills. I is because of her that I get high marks in all the subjects. She is my number one because I was struggling with Sesotho and Mathematics but she make sure that I understand Sesotho, during listening and speaking I find it easy to speak whatever I want to talk about. She does not complain if to talk about anything that is relevant so that we can be able to talk. In Mathematics I can solve problems and work on my own without any help. You will love her more when teaching sharing she will go up and down sharing and making us aware that it is important to share, not only in maths but also with the children who are ready.
Me Maimane did not give up on us.She teaches everything with love,respect and makes school a fun place to be at. She is best teacher any kid will love to have. She is easy to talk to. She is my favourite because today I can read,write and calculate on my own.
Me Maimane is a mother to us and does not like children who are not like children who are not listenining. She encourages us to be disciplined and likes to keep the class and our books clean.
She is my role model when it comes to education. Today I am pround of myself because of her. Now I can solve problems and work on my own without any help.She gives us chance to enter competition like mental maths and this one.
I Love her to bits.
Name: Leticia Olwethu – Winner
School: Sizimisele Primary School
The happiest day of my life
My name is Leticia and my surname is Mahlalela. I am a grade 6(six) learner and I am eleven years old. I would like to tell you about the happiest day of my life. One day our kind principal told us that we are going out for a trip from grade 4-7. We were visiting Pretoria Zoo. I was very happy I just ran home to tell my mother about the trip. I was very lucky because my mothe agree to pay the trip for me.
The principal told us that the trip only cost R400 including food, transport and entrance fee to the Zoo. Our transport was very special, it’s called protours. The colour of the bus was white with comfortable chairs and beautiful blue curtains. Inside the bus there were also a big screen TV and a fridge. They told us to wear red T-shirts and Jeans so we can all have the same colour so we won’t get lost in the Zoo. I was so excited that I couldn’t even sleep because I thought the bus will leave without me.
Then I stayed all night till 12am. I just went to take a bath. I wear my clothes and I took my bag and went to school it was a sunny day and the air was breezing like the cooing of a dove. When I got to school there were many people and I couldn’t see my friend. Then we went to the assembly to sing and pray for a safety trip. They gave us some green ribons. We wated and waited for the bus to come and finally it did.
Then the bus came and we were all shouting, screaming and dancing when we saw the bus coming. The teacher called our names and if they call you name you got inside the bus and took a sit Then we were on our way and it was like an adventure and it was the first trie in my life. We saw many places on our way and we passed a tallgate and I wondered what was it and my teacher told me it was a tallgate. We went to the garage to pee then we were on our way again.
There were music in the bus and we were all dancing and having fun. Inside the bus yooh!! It was exciting. I was so surprised when I saw Mrs Dube dancing then I laughed and laughed till tears fall down. When we get to the zoo it was just unbealiveble.
We saw many different kind of animals like rhinos, zebras, Tigers, lions, crocodiles and big elephants. We played many games like big wheel. It’s ticket only cost R4 and there was also a cable mountain. We ate delicious meat and pap then we had some juice. When we went back home it was dark outside and I was so happy that I was able to learn about lots of different kind of animals and I really had somefun.
Name: Molokong Motloung – 1st runner up
School: Olifantsvlei Primary School
What I want to be when I grow up
My name is Molokong Motloung I am 11 years old. I am doing grade 5 in olifantsvlei primary school. When I grow up I want to be an engineer, I will have to study mathematics and science because mostly engineer is all about calculations. I love this and I’ll do well so this career is ideal and I am going to study them so that I can be an engineer.
I’d like to give back to disadvantage kids who want to study and follow their passion and dreams like me. This proffesion will be good for me because I want to create job opportunities for people who are not working and have qualifications. And also bring growth in South Africa.
I want to study in Stellenbosch in Cape Town because I won’t know anyone who will distract me, I will be far away from my friends and family so I will be able to concentrate and finish my studies and get the qualification that I want.
I will study for six years at the university then after those years I will finish my other year doing practicals so that when I get my qualification I will be able to create my own company and job opportunities. In my country there is a lack of jobs, lots of people are not working so I must work really hard on my career so that it can be a success and I’ll be able to help other people with jobs.
I also want to be an example to other students so that they can also study hard so they can be more business orientated people like me. I want to make my teachers proud when I leave school so that they can also remember me as a good student at their school.
I also want to build the largest children development center in South Africa at western Cape for children to read books, do their homework and play sports. I want to do this because it will help children reach their goals, so that they can have expensive cars, big houses and companies.
Name: Tumelo Makokobetsi – 2nd runner up
School: Igugulethu Primary School
Trees are our best friends
Trees are the best thing in our lives. They are useful plants that we have in the world. Here in Sasolburd we are surrounded by lots of industrial firms which pollutes our environment a lot. So the trees we are having in our area are useful because they give us oxygen which help us breath clean air.
Every tree has only one stem. Many trees grow from the ground. Trees have green leaves and green fruits. Trees make food on their own which means they make like peaches, apple, banana and many more. We receive oxygen from trees.
Oxygen is a colourless gas that comes from every tree. Oxygen forms about 20 percent of the earth’s atmosphere. Caborn dioxide is a colourless odourless produced by burning carbon and organic compounds, it is colourless but we can be harmful.
Carbon dioxide is naturally present in the air and it is absorbed by plants in photosynthesis. In my own understanding carbon dioxide is a dangerous chemical that makes us sick. Including animals. Trees are our best friend and it is our duty to take care of them.
When it is winter it they help by providing us with logs, so that we can make fire, when it is very cold. When it is summer it helps us by providing us with shade. Trees helps us when it comes to air pollution.
It helps by reducing the carbon dioxide that comes from industrial firms, vehicles and heavy machines their roots hold the soil together to prevent dryness and alow us to plant. Trees are a home for many animals and offer them cool shade during summer.
Trees protect us from lot of wind they also add to the natural beauty. Trees play an important role in our lifes. In most provinces trees planting provides the opportunity for employment where hundreds of people work as farm- workers, more especially in the plant segment they pick and gurther fruits.
All cultures ages and genders have an important role to play at a tree planting or tree care event will make trees safe. Trees as landmarks can give neighbourhood a new identity and encourage. At school we have many trees that surround us.
That means we get enough oxygen and these trees play major role in helping to reduce noise pollution. When it comes to cutting the trees, we don’t have to out them completely they help us a lot. We have books and we can produce exam papers because of trees. Without trees there would be lots of carbon dioxide in the environment and we would not be having things such as moer, furniture, lags to make fire etc.
Name: Morallane keitumetse – Winner
Dibaseholo Primary School
My Experience with peer pressure,
What is peer pressure? To me it means that it is when your friends try to persuade you to do something against your will or encourage you to change so that you are more like them.
I have experienced peer pressure many times in my life before and to tell you the truth it was not good at all. Why this was because I had friends who were not good for me. And to say they were not good for me at all they never cared about their studies, all they could do was to smoke and drink which was something they also wanted me to do. But because I disagree with something that is very wrong, they made conditions which are. It is either us or your studies? And I said to them I will give you guys an answer by tomorrow. I never even slept a wink at night, trying to figure out what was the right decision to make and it all came to me. I wanted a future for myself, i wanted to live a better life. A life without pressure and a life without fake friends. And so I decided to choose my studies over them. And since that day they never ever spoke to me, all they could do was to just spread rumours about me, which I didn’t care because I knew that what they were saying about me was not true at all. To show that I had made the right decision, I passed with flying colours at the end of the year. And those people whom I thought were my bright and smart friends failed at the end of the year. And of course I eventually had to make new friends, friends who are hard working as I am, friends with goals and passion like me, friends to stick with me through thick and thin. And indeed I did find those friends. Them coming along made me an even better person. A person who knew the differences between right and wrong, a person who never hesitated to make the right decision, and a person who never changed his/ her personality in order to achieve or gain something in life, a person who knew what needed to be done and how to do it. And lostly a leader of his/ her life who allowed people to know what he/ she wanted them to know about his or her life.
The lesson here is to believe in your self, never stay in a comfort zone, explore life, take risks have a very high self-esteem, don’t change your good personality in order to gain or archieve something in life, be yourself, stay true to yourself and always walk the right path.
Name: Tshegofatso Motlhabane – 1st runner up
School: Pace Commercial high school
My experiences with peer pressure.
My experiences with peer pressure can be broken apart into two separate but simple parts. There is the first part; the part that does not pressure me as much. I feel just a fraction of pressure and then comes the second part; the part that puts me under great pressure.
Let me start by taking you through the part with very little relevance to me. This is the part of little pressure, the part that my mother thinks is typical pressure from other children, but it contributes to me just as a thought. I guess where you come from has great influence on what pressures you or not. Many think that the type of bag you have or the brand of your phone, would have great pressure on children our age but to me it is not a big deal. Of course if you the only one in your group with a no-name -brand bag, which in this case is me, you would feel a little pressure. In almost a split second, I am relieved off the pressure as we have moved from that, to the next thing that interests us. That pressure I had for two minutes’ prior is now nothing more than just a wish that amounts to nothing.
Now, the part that is of great pressure can be discussed. The problematic peer pressure that has to do with being “cool” and matters of appearance. Although this may sound really petty, what puts me under great pressure is how I look. You get the girls that everyone like with this cute nails, the glossiest lip-gloss and the beautiful hair-do’s and for some reason I just want to mimic them. Oh, what pressure it is keeping up!
Although how I appear comes second to this that I am to mention, it is a big factor. What comes first is what defined as the “in thing”. Keeping up with this is something that I can say, is one of the hardest thing that man has been subjected to. It would be easier if I give you are summary of what my situation is, that drives me to make the statement I made above. Long-story short, I have an almost strict mother who wants rational reasoning behind many things I request. Back to the term, “in thing”. This term can be used across various categories. Let me name a few, music, activities, fashion and language. Can you imagine keeping up with all that, not to mention it is only a portion of all the pressure I experience.
Lastly, my experience with my friend, peer pressure is one that makes me feel like plucking my hair out. The pressure of wanting to do stuff but there are restrictions. My friends are constantly engaging in adventurous and exiting activities which I always listen in the conversations and there goes the stories of how I will join them. I am convinced my mother has heard all stories under the sun. All these things that pressure me may sound petty but to many children my age. They are a reality we face and are relatable to many.
Name: Khauhelo Mosile – 2nd runner up
School: Nampo Combined School
My favourite Season
Spring is my favourite season. The new beginning of life and nature on the earth’s surface. The flowers start blooming and trees grow beautiful green leaves. Trees grow fruits that gives human vitamins and minerals that make a human live healthy, gives a healthy living life. All of the colours, beautiful and fillta this world. Red, blue, purple, yellow and more. Many colours are here in this Earth.
You would want to go out with friends and buy delicious Ice Cream. Going to the park to relax, watching children play and enjoying the sunny weather. It feels nice when it is spring because everything is beautiful around the world. What a beautiful season! You see bees on the flowers too. I would just build a tree house, down there you would see beautiful flowers with amazing colours of the world. Even the next day you enjoy rolling on the green leaves of the grass. Seeing such a nice land you would want to stay there forever. When the wind is cool, you play for the rest of the day. I feel happy, even more excited with my friends. You would just want to take your time a think about this season. You would want to wear freely like spring clothes. beautiful dresses and even the garden has a nice flowers and good fertile soil, why?, because spring shows us the beauty of this world, How world is beautiful.
In spring you can have a nice juice, eat fruits and having a nice picnic at a garden surrounded by all flowers. Drawing butterflies or flowers just to have fun. You can give a person you love flowers as a gift and the nice part is the fragrance of the flower. The sunny days, the weather and having fun. Taking care of the flowers makes the flowers fresh. You can see birds such as parrots. Colours are everywhere. There’s no place that doesn’t have a colour and spring make them more beautiful. The most beautiful in this world.
Lukhanya Sikolisi – Winner
Thandokhulu High School
Can technology replace a teacher in the classroom?
Over the years the presence of technology has grown quite significantly in our lives. This maybe because not only does it save time but it is also makes everyday activities much easier compared to what it was in the past. From household chores to banking, it is no secret that technology is exactly what the doctor ordered.
The importance of education is preached each and everyday. It will play a huge role in people’s lives for generations and generations to come. This is why the government tries to improve learning conditions by all means possible. The latest change being the incorporation of technology in the classroom. This has seen the existence of chalkboards coming to an end and projectors being used as a replacement. It has further gone to a point where it has even considered unnecessary for learners to carry books and pens to school as they would be using computers and ipads.
With Technology, learners are exposed to other learning environments besides the classroom. They can stream live lessons and watch experiments. This technique will also help learners who understand work through visuals and will also expose the whole classroom to different methods of learning and studying. With computers, the learners just login, open a file and read. They also take online tests after finishing a certain topic they can also see their marks seconds after submitting their online test.
On the other hand, teachers play an important role in every learner’s life. They are more than just a teacher, they are parents, mentors and are always there when they are needed. To other learners, school is an escape from violent backgrounds. A place others can find solace in what is home without the parents. Teaching is an everlasting profession because as the population grows, more people will need to be educated. Teachers motivate, encourage and make learners believe in themselves and that they can be successful in all their endeavours. A lot of prominent businessmen and successful figures went to school before the time of technology and were taught by teachers.
Learners cannot be fully trusted with technology. They will need constant monitoring with regards to their online activities and that is when teachers are needed. Teenagers are always on social media and posting things that might destroy their reputation or that of another person. When parents are struggling as it is with children spending too much time on their cellphones and computer, wont it be even worse if they also gain access to these even at school?
Truth is, no matter how much technology can make things easier. It will never prevail the importance of teachers in classrooms or in the lives of learners. Not only are they nation builder through their hard work but also play a crucial part in the lives of learners.
Lufuno Ratshidani – 1st runner up
Pace Commercial High School
The most difficult part about school.
My name is Lufuno Ratshidana and I have been schooling for as long as I remember. Talk about all those early mornings I cried over waking up so early. Well, I cannot really say that much has changed. Uunlike primary school where my biggest worries were early mornings, lost socks and separating from my friends after school; secondary school became a real wake-up call and confusing to say the least.
When I got to high school, in grade 8, my teacher would always talk about matric. At that moment I would ask myself why he was getting ahead of himself and getting so serious? But little did I know that it was around the corner, literally around the corner. It really felt like blinking three times. So let me open up to my world and tell you what I think the most difficult part about school is…….
Firstly, the pressure to get the best marks and better than the last term because before I knew that I was schooling for myself I thought it was to impress my parents and those little moments that my report card was pulled out for the visitors. And then came the time when I have to compete with my friends in class for the best marks, frienemies if you ask me! It’s not easy.
Now can I talk about the cellphones and this monster called data which was non-existent or infamous when my parents were my age. How will they ever understand? I mean my uncle calls facebook whatsapp. The cellphones are not allowed in the classroom or at school for that matter but me and my friends can’t seem to be able to leave them at home. We get into a lot of trouble some times.
The peer pressure and boys – and on top of all that you have to bring your A game to the classroom. At this point in time I must say that the attention and hanging with the boys is kind of cool but we are constantly reminded of the consequences of engaging in more than a handshake with them. The subject called Life Orientation tries to educate us about such things but over the years we have seen some oops moments where my school going friends get pregnant and give birth to children and opportunities get scratched off the priority list. Sad but life has to go on.
The bullying that happens at school is enough to make one drop out all because of a few clowns who want to be the cool group. It is so bad because other children don’t enjoy school anymore
Then comes scary MATRIC…… The excitement and challenges involved! The moments and realities of having to apply for university and have no idea what you want to study in the next coming year. The university scorecards and the school fees in those university booklets. I ask myself how my parents will pay such expensive fees but both my parents are optimistic and supportive, always talking about how God provides.
The matric dance, shopping and trying to look best! Have you ever seen how those American movies portray prom??? It’s like the last thing you will do on earth, fairy-tale vibes.
In conclusion am actually very glad I had to tell you about my schooling experience although I had to School Advancement Programme it because I could go on all day and night. As much as there are so many difficulties in school and being a teenager, I certainly know that education is my one-way ticket to a better life and out of poverty.
Kuhle Mente – 2nd runner up
ThandoKhulu high School
My experiences with peer pressure.
We grow up and do things we vowed to never do. We give in to temptations that leave us bruised and without purpose. I grew up in a church family. Having a pastor for a father, he always preached to me about how evil friends are. So as you can imagine I spent all my days at church. I never really had friends to call my own. That was before I got to high school of course. It was then that I met these two amaizing people who I could finally call my friends. Or so I thought! Anyway we were close and did everything together. By everything I mean everything that you could possibly think of and imagine.
This was all new to me. I was so used to being a loner, now that I was part of a group it felt great. I finally had a sense of belonging. My friends were like the sisters I got to choose for myself. I swore they were heaven sent. I was so convinced that they were the angels that my father said looked after me. Until one day that I realised that they were different from the angels my father preached about. They were angels in black. They were angels of the darkness. They proposed that we go to a night club. Although I was hesitant at first but they kept pushing the issue until I finally gave into the suggestion.
Partying became a habit that led to me ignoring my studies. I was so eager to satisfy my friends and their selfish needs knowing very well that the drugs, partying and driving around with older men was not what I stood for. But I thought what I had with them was special and being the inexperienced kid they would groom me up to be cool.
I did everything to keep them happy at the expense of my own happiness. During the day it was all fun and games but came the evening I would drown in my own tears. I had identitiy issues and developed a low self-esteem. I battled with voices in my head. I felt like an embarrassment, I felt that I had shamed my father, family and the congregation. I became suicidal. The thoughts that crept into my mind…… A voice inside me said let’s do it, take away all the pain and misery that you feel upon your heart. Set yourself free. Let’s leave the world behind with all its fortunes that were destined for you. Happiness and love will never find you. So go on and take a pill or two. No, actually take the whole satchet. That’s how you’ll get to be free. In the grave with no emotions at all. I had lost purpose. Once more I felt out of place. I felt lonely while surrounded by millions of loved one. I felt like I was in a dark hole and didn’t know to get out of it. I felt as though not even prayer could save me. My eyes were now open to the cruelty of friends. Oh how I wish I had listened to my father. Through all my experiences with peer pressure I realised that regrets and mistakes are memories made. Temptations can be resisted.