Open minds campus writings
by Siraj Ghoor
Starting a school like Open Minds Campus was not something that I envisioned while in high school. At the time, I imagined becoming a computer programmer, possibly for life.
I completed a BCom degree at Wits with an Information Systems major, and then joined the family business in 1990, as was expected of me. I was not very comfortable with this decision, probably because I lacked business, leadership and entrepreneurial skills. The industry didn’t particularly excite me either.
Over those years, I had to learn, and still continue to learn, many other life skills. I had to learn to be self-driven, to persevere, to solve problems and to find my own answers. I also had to learn to be emotionally intelligent, to trust myself and to work with people of all ages.
I began an educational book publishing and distribution company while I was still involved in the family business, and also help start and run a community-based school for 3 years.
It was only when our family began homeschooling in 2004, that the seeds of an alternative school were planted in my mind.
I wanted to start a school that would give students a head-start in life. I wanted them to enjoy the learning experience. I wanted them to choose their own paths in life. I wanted to help them to learn essential life skills while still at school. I wanted them to avoid the mistakes that most of us make when choosing careers and making important decisions.
I wanted them to be entrepreneurial. I wanted them to believe in themselves. I wanted them to stretch themselves to accomplish what was difficult. I wanted students to learn to work together with others that are not necessarily of their own age group. I wanted them to become life-long learners. I always loved tutoring students, and realized that running an alternative school is my dream after all.
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
– Benjamin Franklin