It’s a tumultuous day in the life of a mixed bag of students at a poor government school on the Cape Flats. John Shelby High’s Grade 12Y class is the only class doing matric Mathematics. It’s September, a month away from the matric exams, and they still don’t have a math teacher. Six woefully unqualified temps have already come and gone during the year, leaving everyone hopelessly inadequately prepared for the upcoming finals. The class is made up of a cynical and disenfranchised mixed group of black and coloured students, and the latent racism that still exists in this environment often rises to the surface.
A newly qualified white substitute teacher arrives to teach, though he isn’t a math teacher…he’s qualified as a History and English teacher. The day is further complicated by the arrival of a teacher and a group of students from an upper-class school, whose day-long visit is part of a cultural exchange programme, but they’re shunted around from class to class by cynical, burnt-out teachers who don’t want interlopers in their classes.
The clash of cultures brings things to a volatile head.