MOT Coach Blogger of the Month – Terence Klassen

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Mr Terence Klassen, Principal of Fairmount Secondary School, MOT Coach and this year’s Are Hovstad Award Winner is this month’s MOT Blogger of the Month. (Read more about the Are Hovstad Award here). Here he shares his story about how MOT started and the effect of the MOT Programme on the staff, youth and community at and around the school.

I am the Principal of Fairmount Secondary School for the past 22 years. We, at Fairmount Secondary School, are so grateful for the Introduction of MOT to South Africa. Our school was the first Secondary School where the MOT programme was instituted together with False Bay and Northlink TVET Colleges.

Our MOT Coaches did an excellent job at school, so much so that many of them were selected as monitors. They also represented our school on the Representative Council of Learners (RCL) and also in their Matric year, most who participated in the programme become Prefects. Besides indicating the MOT values to improve their life skills to deal with this negative influence in the disadvantaged communities our Learners come from.

The MOT programme also developed their Leadership Skills and ability to make informed choices so that they could achieve their goals and dreams, remain in school, not yet involved in gangs and drugs or get pregnant.

The proof of this is in Darren Maybe who was a learner at our school, did the MOT Programme, and continued with the MOT Programme at College where he became a Young MOTivator. He then went on to become the College Vice President of their Student Representative Council. He also became more involved with MOT by becoming a MOT Coach and thereafter won the Are Hovstad Award for 2021!

The MOT programme when it was introduced also asserted us in bringing down the dropout rate, and helped with our Anti-Bullying and Anti-Racism Campaign. Our School became the go-to school for learners of Refugees, as they felt welcomed and were treated with dignity by our learners. When the Western Cape Education Department introduced its Values-Driven Education Programme, we at Fairmount were ahead of the Curve as our learners in the programme already were primed through the MOT programme.

MOT SA Courage to Care Global Grant project with Wynberg Rotary Club

In 2019 we were approached by Mr Odd Henning Johannesen and the Wynberg Rotary Club to initiate a Special Pilot Programme with 2 other High Schools, namely Lotus and Zeekoevlei High School.

Our 3 schools serve socio-economically poor areas where unemployment especially amongst its youth is very high, poverty, gangsterism, drugs, teenage pregnancies and all the social evils abound.

We took on the challenge, unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on the programme due to the protocols limiting the number of learners and social distancing. The MOT Programme is best done in person due to the social interaction and stronger bonds.

Now in 2022, we have balanced the implementation of the MOT Programme with approximately 2 years of academic loss. Slow but surely we are winning the battle.

MOT at Fairmount Secondary

The aim of this 3-year programme is to inculcate from an early age (13-14 years) the MOT Values so that by grade 10 these learners would have the necessary skills to make the right choices toward a brighter future, remain in school and thereby break the cycle of poverty.

We have identified a group of YIS (Youthful, Innovative and Sincere) young educators and youth workers to attend the MOT Coaches’ Basic Education that took place within March 2022.

These youth workers are active in their churches, community structures and the Police Youth Development Programmes. We are hoping to make a difference not only in the lives of the young people at our schools but also in those who have dropped out or are unemployed to show them that there is hope if they develop the right Mindset which is the MOT Philosophy and Programme offer.

We are hopeful that we will be able to see the difference that the programme makes in the lives of these young people if our experience is anything to go by.

I am proud to be part of the MOT family and will continue to promote MOT wherever I find myself. 

Yours in Education,

Terence Klassen – Fairmount Secondary School Principal

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Check out our MOT Coach Blogger of the Month – Elizabeth Nel who shares her before and after thoughts of attending the MOT Coaches’ Basic Education (training). “Being a part of MOT is truly life-changing and the skills and knowledge taught will stay with me and those involved with MOT for life long. I hope to make a difference in our young people’s lives and empower them to reach their potential through courage!” Read more here