Above, St. Mary’s Pre – School, Lobatse
A Celebration of Early Childhood and Parental Roles
In the heartwarming embrace of late November, an event of joy and pride perennially unfolds at St. Mary’s Pre-School in Lobatse and St. Bakitah Pre-School in Kanye. This auspicious occasion marks the Graduation Day, a tradition cherished and celebrated with immense enthusiasm across Botswana. The theme for this year, resonating deeply with the community, was “The Role of Parents in Early Childhood.”
As the academic year drew to a close, both pre-schools were abuzz with excitement and preparations. The day was a picturesque scene; little graduates, girls in pristine white dresses and boys in sharp white long sleeves paired with black trousers, transformed into celestial beings, their innocence and joy adding a heavenly charm to the celebration.
The air was electric with excitement, palpable in the exuberant jumps and laughter of the children. They lined up, their faces beaming, alongside their teachers. With the rhythm of traditional music filling the air, they waved colorful flags and marched towards the stage, their steps synchronized in a dance of joy. The parents gathered in the hall welcomed these little stars with thunderous applause. Standing on stage, hands folded, the children received a heartfelt blessing prayer from one of the parents, marking the beginning of the ceremony.
The day’s proceedings were officially opened by esteemed guests – Professor R. Manyathelo in Lobatse and Mr. Fana Tswilo, the chairperson of the parish in Kanye. The children then took center stage, showcasing an array of talents. Their performances were diverse and captivating, ranging from the National Anthem to welcome songs, action songs, poem recitations, skits like “Miriam and Baby Moses,” “Samson and Delilah,” and the “Creation of the World in Seven Days,” culminating in Christmas carol singing and a heartfelt thank-you speech. Each act was a testament to their hard work, leaving the audience thoroughly entertained and deeply appreciative.
Sister Bibiana Kindo and Sr. Mary Dang presented the annual reports for St. Mary’s and St. Bakitah Pre-Schools, respectively, highlighting the year’s achievements and milestones. The ceremony reached its pinnacle as the little ones, adorned in black graduation gowns, proceeded in a jubilant procession towards the stage for the Graduation Ceremony and the awarding of certificates. The solemnity of this moment was beautifully juxtaposed with their youthful exuberance.
The guest speakers, Professor Manyathelo and Mr. Tswilo, addressed the gathering, focusing on the theme of parental involvement in early childhood. Their speeches were not only insightful but also appreciative of the efforts of the children, teachers, and sisters. They extended heartfelt thanks to the sisters for their dedication and to the parents for entrusting their children to these esteemed institutions.
As the program concluded, everyone was invited to partake in a meal, a fitting end to a day marked by unity and celebration. The success of the event was a tribute to the tireless efforts of the staff, the little graduates, and the principal. It was a day that not only celebrated the stepping stone of graduation but also underscored the vital role of parents in shaping the early years of their children’s lives.