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Change Through Understanding

Social Awareness

Social Awareness:
At School & Beyond

Maritzburg College is a diverse school – and our youth lie at the heart of a more equal and inclusive society. The Social Awareness programme includes boys, staff old boys and parents, all of whom are committed to achieving these aims.

Social awareness concepts are interwoven into the fabric of the College experience – and these principles are embraced as the foundation for future change.

As a South African campus, we know that addressing a culture of openness about topical South African issues is a gateway to global mindfulness.

Not only does this break down barriers, but this culture of tolerance entrenches the place of every College boy within a changing local and international society.

Take a Closer Look



Social awareness is the ability to take the perspective of and empathise with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. It is the ability to understand social and ethical norms for behaviour and to recognise family, school, and community resources and supports.

Social Awareness Council

The Social Awareness Council, which includes staff, parents, Old Collegians, and most importantly College boys, aims to create a diverse school with a South African “mindset”, which actively engages in all areas of social awareness. This includes aspects such as evaluating the school’s policies and procedures, including the school’s employment policies; inclusivity in the classrooms; looking at the school’s symbols and how they express its heritage; and fostering an environment in which every College boy feels comfortable to voice his opinions, concerns, and hopes.’

We are focused on the following key objectives:

  • Celebrating individuality whilst promoting a common “College Culture”.
  • Being an inclusive institution by ensuring that we grow with our community and remain relevant to the needs of society.
  • Ensuring that every boy feels that College is a safe space where he feels accepted and valued as a member of the College family.
  • Encouraging mutual respect through recognising diversity and differences.
  • Building a lifelong commitment to the College ethos.

Social Awareness Forum

Our Social Awareness Forum is a youth-driven forum – one where boys are given a safe environment to voice their views, concerns, anxieties, and hopes and debate social issues experienced at College and within our broader community. By bringing these topics out into the open and debating them among their peers, boys are better equipped to educate others within the school environment and serve the interests of progress. The College Social Awareness Forum believes the education system is ready for transformation to better serve the needs of students, families, and communities. The forum aims to Raise Awareness Through Education (RATE).

Some RATE focus areas include:

  • Drug Awareness
  • Poverty and Homelessness
  • Climate Change
  • Civil (Public) Rights and Racial Discrimination
  • Gender Inequality
  • Childhood Obesity
  • Bullying
  • Sexualizing female teachers
  • Colourism
  • Farm Murders


Raising Awareness Through Education

The opportunity to discuss and write about social issues raises awareness, supports understanding, and mobilises change. The Social Awareness Forum complements in-classroom and community activities and the forum hosts a range of initiatives – including workshops, training, programmes, festivals – each year to extend the relevance of this focus into the College community.


  • Social Awareness Forum gives us the ability to understand social and ethical norms. Students understand the perspectives of other students and become more aware of the environment around them. It is a safe environment where boys can voice their opinions on topics at hand, which educates others. We are a forum that aims to rectify social issues and inequalities across the board.


    I have grown with the forum since I joined. I have gained a lot of knowledge and self-confidence and I would encourage more students to join.

    S. Hlatswayo

As part of the College community, you will become an intrinsic part of the future. At College, we nurture your individuality within the broader College ethos – which is deeply committed to rights, freedoms, and transformation.