Geography pupils at Chris Hani High School, in Khayelitsha, were visited by the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) on Wednesday November 1, as part of an exercise to raise awareness about population studies.
The visit of the union, accompanied by the new Statistician-General and head of Statistics South Africa (STATS SA), Risenga Maluleke, formed part of the 28th session of the International Population Conference, held in Cape Town between Sunday October 29 and Wednesday November 1.
During the visit, the school also received books from Mr Maluleke who highlighted the importance of understanding the puzzling and complex nature of geography and pointed out that demography and related competencies were scarce skills in the country.
There was, he added, a lack of professionals in the field to undertake study design, analysis and interpretation of demographic data.
Mr Maluleke said geography was important for them to understand the bigger picture of how people live, where they come from-and where they are going.
He also emphasised the importance of mathematics.
“The study of geography gives meaning to life.
“It gives meaning to work that we produce as Stats SA. There is more that you can do, like economic geography and others.
“But do not miss out on mathematics. While at university I failed most of my subjects and I passed maths. Maths saved my life.
“It can save yours too. If you fail, you must be able to pick yourself up. Do not tell me about your background and how poor you are,” he said.
“Where you were born does not matter. Rule the world, irrespective of where you are from.”
Mr Maluleke said discipline was at the centre of every success.
He called on the pupils to be disciplined and to be better citizens.
He thanked the for accompanying him to the school.
Mr Maluleka said he hoped that the visit would lay the foundation for good relations between Stats SA and the geography community of Chris Hani High.
IUSSP president Professor Anastasia Gape said she was happy to work with Stats SA to bring the world together and discuss the problems faced by the world’s population.She also encourage pupils to take their studies seriously. Acting school principal Tamara Mnisi said she was happy that her school had been chosen to receive the books and promised to produce more good results.