Pupils taught democracy

2016-04-28 06:00


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Learners from different schools were equipped with wise words during the launch of Schools Democracy Week on Monday held at Luhlaza High School in Khayelitsha.

The event was organised by the Electoral Commission after they agreed to and accepted the proposal made by Angie Motshekga, the Minister of Basic Education to have a “Democracy Week” in Schools.

It was attended by learners from five schools in Khayelitsha and five schools in Mitchells Plain.

The learners are members of Representative Council of Learners (RCL).

Courtney Sampson, provincial electoral officer, said this event is designed to ensure that youth are where they odd to be in understanding democracy.

Sampson said it is important for the youth to have “high level of positivity” in issues pertaining democracy.

“Our democracy is strong. Youth need to understand the importance of citizenship first before you say you are building democracy. Youth need to have pride in the country and be patriotic. They need to use every opportunity that they have through democracy, which includes education,” he said.

He also said too much negativity can lead to citizens not utilizing opportunities available to them.

“We need people who have high level of positivity so they will use every opportunity that we have in this democratic country,” he added.

Makhosandile Ndzuzo, the provincial director of education, said the event was important to ensure that learners understand the importance of democracy not just for elections.

Ndzuzo said it is an opportunity for them to participate in finding ways to guide democracy.

“It is about building a very strong future. The RCL members will go back to their schools and spread the work about democracy to other learners.

They have responsibility to participate in issues of democracy in their schools and also to take education seriously. We need to ensure that democracy is institutionalised,” he said.

He also said there is an RCL forum which was launched in Worcester recently and it is set to be spread to other areas to sharpen their leadership skills for learners.

Learners were given a chance to say what they know about Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

Siphokuhle Mcotshana, Grade 11 learner from Luhlaza High School, said IEC is about electing government, voting for president of their choice and also mayors.

“I would like to vote one day. I am interested in politics of this country,” Mcotshana said.

Mncotshana is 16 years old and will not be able to participate in the upcoming Municipality Elections.

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