Basic education minister Angie Motshekga has told Grade 12 pupils across the Eastern Cape to make 2018 a year of hope when it came to matric results. She told the pupils who gathered in Elliotdale on Monday education was key and they should always aim higher.
“You cannot just say I want a job and I want nomayini [whatever job you can offer]. That was my generation. There are opportunities for you nowadays. You can fly a plane as an African child and you can fix a plane as an African child.”
The minister was speaking in Elliotdale as part of her department’s commemoration of the Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu centenary celebrations.
“The Eastern Cape is an important province, not only because it is a province of legends but also for the things that it had to give. The province has [a] huge potential that it is not using to the fullest.”
Motshekga told both parents and pupils that Mandela and Sisulu’s umbilical chords were buried deep in the bowels of this province, an indication of just how important and special the Eastern Cape was.
She said the problem with the province was that people did not want to take responsibility and lead. She urged pupils to honour the two ANC stalwarts by prioritising their education.
“There is history that has been bestowed on you. You are born by these leaders.”
She said pupils needed to go to school and get themselves educated, as it was the only ticket for them out of poverty.
While she described Sisulu as a selfless leader, she urged pupils to also emulate Madiba’s qualities such as compassion and humanity. She said the children would have to create their own legacies, just as the two late leaders had done.
Motshekga also informed parents and pupils that the department had initiated a read to lead programme aimed at boosting literacy levels among young and old.
Two years ago, the department also introduced the second chance programme to allow for people without matric to obtain a matric certificate.
The minister told them that the Eastern Cape had the highest failure rate in Grade 12 and that they would do well to use the programme to turn their situation around. She also said that getting rid of mud and unsafe schools in the Eastern Cape was going to be a long haul. She said President Cyril Ramaphosa would host a fundraising dinner next Tuesday, where a detailed intervention would be announced.