MAKING THEIR MARK: The top Stenden South Africa students were awarded for their excellence in various areas at their prize giving last Wednesday. The top hospitality students in year one and two won new iPads. At the back (from left) are Andulela Suka, Christine Howarth, Jason Sharrock, Leigh Claassen, Karla Visser and Kim Swanepoel. In front (from left) are Thamsanqa Jongile and Gcobisa Gwavu Picture: CANDICE BRADFIELD
STENDEN South Africa held its Excellence Awards in Real World Learning last week where students were rewarded for all their hard work.
SRC president Nolwazi Mashiyane gave her report for the year, saying that their sports teams had done very well. Their soccer team remained virtually unbeaten, losing only one match.
They were taught that balance is important and had very successful social events as well, the best being beerfest. They also held a Mr and Miss Stenden competition. They were excited to receive their first yearbook which will mean the students have something to remind them of their time at Stenden.
Deputy general manager Alroy Taai, who presented the management report, said that education was not about the certificate, but about getting the tools for life to improve the world we live in. With the recession hitting Port Alfred and a 25% drop in revenue, it is in hard times like these that people are called upon to show character, he said.
“You do not build character and work ethic from a five star sofa,” he said.
“Education is a hard thing. Your parents and sponsors make sacrifices, you represent the dreams of people.”
He mentioned some of their successes, including arranging the waiters for the Bathurst Country Affair, a growth in their internship database which meant students could go to five star establishments all over the world, and their latest disaster management course.
Sunshine Coast Tourism has also recognised them as this year’s best contributer to local economic development in Ndlambe. They have received 137 applications for next year.
They have received five full scholarships from government which were awarded to Stenden as they proved they are an integral part of the community, Taai said.
Alderman Louise Swanepoel, who is a member of the board of governors for Stenden, spoke of her 30 years in Port Alfred.
She started out in Port Alfred as a young mother of three sons and took over ownership of The Grand Hotel with John Hughes.
When South Africa was going through changes before 1994, Swanepoel said she “dived in”.
She knew that hospitality could spearhead change in the country.
“It is the best industry to provide employment for the poor, and have a knock-on effect,” she said.
“How privileged you are to take problem-based learning and go forth with tremendous confidence,” she said.
Outstanding students were awarded certificates for highest marks in minor subjects, events management, wildlife management, entrepreneurship, tourism, humanitarian studies and creative therapy.
While students must complete at least 90 elective credits, many students had well over 120.
Academic prizes were awarded to the most improved and best students in the various years, as well as the best Sife (Students in Free Enterprise) or Enactus student. A Spanish participation prize was handed out, the best SRC member was announced and the student with the best community involvement was also rewarded. The last awards were handed out to the sportsman of the year and the student of the year.