Robben Island Museum Imparts Knowledge to Future Leaders


Event Africa Contributor 29/10/2021 Press Release


After a year of not hosting due to COVID-19, Robben Island Museum (RIM) welcomed a group of sixty (60) learners for a six-day residency programme on Monday, 04 October 2021. Known as Spring School, this is a RIM annual flagship programme that is dedicated to sharing knowledge and creating awareness about the history of Robben Island and or contemporary issues that affect South Africa and other African countries with future leaders. 

This year’s theme: young people acknowledging the epidemic of gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa as a national crisis, focuses on educating and demystifying the myth around GBV, the factors that lead to it and the impact it has on communities. This theme nurtures young people who will be ambassadors of change to eliminate or decrease the level of violence. 

The flagship started in 1998 to promote knowledge on aspects of heritage and the history of Robben Island as a microcosm of the broader South Africa. This programme is offered by RIM’s – Public Heritage Education Department (PHED) in collaboration with schools, educators, museums, and young learners from all the provinces of South Africa and other African countries such as Botswana, Namibia, and Swaziland.  

In 2021 we’ve welcomed learners from the Western Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Free State, Limpopo, Eastern Cape museums, municipalities, and other NGOs between 15 and 17 years (grade 10 to 11).  

“Spring School 2020 was cancelled due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. While we are excited to have learners on the Island again, we are mindful of our responsibility in curbing the spread of the Coronavirus, and strict restrictions remain in place,” says Robben Island Museum Spokesperson, Morongoa Ramaboa. 

The purpose of Spring School is to enhance the notion of Robben Island Museum being a lifelong learning and education institution that spills beyond the borders of the island while correcting, preserving, and restoring dignity amongst humanity. 

“Spring School promotes and nurtures ambassadors that are vocal about human rights and social justice in communities together with raising voices about gender-based violence,” concludes Ramaboa . 

“The platform creates an inspirational learning environment for young people where they explore and engage with the layered history of Robben Island and issues around social cohesion. It also provides a unique opportunity for career information within the heritage sector, thus developing and nurturing a new generation of heritage activists. Furthermore, it creates an unforgettable learning experience that will be treasured by the participants for a lifetime and draw learners that will be ambassadors for Robben Island Museum,” adds Ayanda Woji, Senior Manager: PHED. 

Interested schools are encouraged to get in touch with us at the Department of Education at various districts for information on how to enrol for next year’s edition. Other groups can contact us at infow@robben-island.org.za for information on similar programmes.