EDUCATION

King of Royal Bafokeng Nation visits Suitland High School

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Students at Suitland High School in Prince George's County had a royal visitor Wednesday.

The King of Royal Bafokeng Nation visited a local school.

This was no ordinary day for student Dominique Dixon.

As he demonstrated a basic computer networking configuration in class, his majesty, the King of Royal Bafokeng Nation asked him to describe the Internet in his own words.

The King's visit to Suitland High comes after a ten-year lull in the sister city partnership between the South African nation and Prince George's County.

"At the center of what we're doing is education, so Suitland for us is a model school that we want to replicate," the king said.

Royal Bafokeng Nation is located in South Africa's Northwest province. There the king says education is considered a last resort.

"If you fail everywhere else, you become a teacher," he said. "So we're trying to turn that around."

The King got a betters sense of the vocational programs available to students as he took a tour of the school alongside the County Executive and School Superintendent.

"Not only having our children college ready, but also job ready," said Rushern Baker, Prince George's County Executive. "Being able to come directly out of high school with a skill. And one of the things they will see at this school is preparing to do that in the various programs."

In a nursing class, students practiced in a mock-hospital setting. These types of learning environments are what the royal visitor hopes to share back home.

"Just fresh ways of doing things," said the king. "With education the biggest thing is talent. So also we're trying to find ways how to energize and pick your talents."

He added economic development and cultural exchanges are other priorities that he wants to tackle with the help of Prince Georges County.

The royal visit this time around was more about observation, but future plans include sitting down with teachers and students to create an educational model that can be replicated in South Africa.

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