Pupils of the French International School Lycée Jules Verne during their Heritage Day commemoration. Jacques Naude/African News Agency
Pretoria - The Lycée Jules Verne French International School in Hatfield continues to welcome children of all nationalities so its Heritage Day event was something special. 

The school has pupils from many nationalities such as Togo, Nigeria, Egypt, Tunisia and Russia, and caters for children from the nursery year through to Grade 5. 

Principal Ban Gratien said he thought it was important for the children to know where their classmates came from, and for them to embrace their roots no matter where they were.

“It’s special too for the parents, because they get to dress in their traditional clothes as well and come to school and share with other parents about their cultures.

Ophelia Onibom, a parent who attended the Heritage Day celebrations, said she was from Ghana and loved how the school gave them a platform to celebrate their culture and teach their children about it as well.

“A lot of the parents here are diplomats and aren’t from South Africa, so having all these kinds of events is fun for the kids and educative for the parents.

“When our children go to other countries, it’ll become easier for them to know different languages and be exposed to the world outside theirs,” she said.

Onibom said both her young boys, Laolu and Tomi, were very happy at school.

For Heritage Day the pupils began by singing French and English songs, performing for their parents, and beaming with pride when the parents applauded their efforts.

Klitsgras Drumming was invited, and drum instructors facilitated a lesson and parents got to join in.

Gratien said the language at school is predominantly French, using it at least 70% of the time, so it was very easy for the children to communicate in both English and French.

Pretoria News