Education a tribute to Mandela

2013-12-07 20:56


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Johannesburg - Education was a tribute to former president Nelson Mandela as it affirmed the humanity and potential of the young, the Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development said on Saturday.

"Of all his achievements, the one he [Mandela] still spoke most proudly about to the end of his life was the completion of his studies," the institute said in a statement.

"When asked about his most important message for young people, he said they must study hard. When asked about his message for leaders around the world, he said simply they must focus on education."

The institute was launched by Mandela in 2007 at his alma mater, the University of Fort Hare.

"As his public run for education came to its end, he handed a burning baton to the public to take forward his unfinished work: creating a system of public education that serves the best expression of all of our children," the institute said.

"Perhaps the one most important thing we can do collectively to build our system of public education is a simple day-to-day act - a simple act of love - the act of reading to our children every day."

South Africa's children would then grow up in a country where reading and words were associated with loving care rather than only school-based stress.

Mandela died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Thursday night at the age of 95. He will be buried in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, next Sunday.

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