Breaking the comparison trap

Twahafa Negumbo
Comparison and low self-esteem are pervasive issues among learners. As students go through secondary school and begin a chapter of tremendous change and development, it becomes second nature for them to compare themselves to their peers, which often leads to a constant sense of inadequacy. These negative feelings can have a significant impact on their emotional well-being and academic performance. Recognising this issue, Windhoek Gymnasium’s managing director, Colette Rieckert, launched the BeYoutiful campaign to all high school learners on Monday, 20 February.

The BeYoutiful project will be a year-long programme focused on providing learners with the tools and resources they need to develop a positive self-image, build their self-confidence, and foster a healthy sense of self-worth. Rieckert started the campaign with a powerful message on the importance of recognising your own unique qualities and being grateful for what you have instead of striving to match, outdo, or even discredit the accomplishments of your peers.

"With this project, I wanted to get to the hearts of the learners and help them understand that they are special. I have experienced that when most children act out or continuously exhibit poor academic performance, often the root of the problem is that they compare themselves with others and believe they are not good enough," says Rieckert.

This programme aims to foster a supportive and inclusive learning environment where learners feel empowered to achieve their full potential. The programme’s first exercise will consist of learners anonymously writing down the positive attributes of each of their classmates. Aside from boosting the learners' confidence, this exercise also allows them to identify and further build on their strengths, while also celebrating and uplifting their peers. Ultimately, this activity builds a sense of community and support between learners.

When asked about his opinion on the project, grade 11 learner Pombili Hauwanga said: "I think it is an amazing project that will truly help many learners. I cannot wait to see the positive impact the BeYoutiful campaign brings to our school."


Namibian Sun 2023-03-29

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