Learners tour Soweto

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pretoria – Learners from various schools on Saturday took part in an educational tour of Soweto.

One of the learners who was fortunate to go on the “My History Educational Tour”, which was announced by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Executive Chairperson Yershen Pillay, earlier this week, said she was grateful for the opportunity to tour and for the opportunities that are now available 20 years into South Africa’s democracy.

“From 1976 until now everything has changed. I’m grateful to the people that fought for the freedom we have today.

“I’m grateful for the likes of former President Nelson Mandela and all those who died in the name of the struggle for freedom [we have] today. We now go to school for free, there is no such thing as Bantu education and we even get meals at school for free. I am grateful for this,” said 18-year-old Sylvia Molusi.

Sylvia a grade 11 pupil at Rebatla Thuto High School in Koppies, Free State, who turns 19 this month, joined other pupils on the tour that included stops at Constitution Hill, where they were taught about the courts of the land as well as the famous Vilkazi Street in Soweto. The street boasts Mandela’s house and is the only street in the world to have had two Nobel peace prize winners, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, as residents.

Sylvia, who is a History pupil, was among the grade 10 to 12 pupils selected from her school based on her knowledge on the country’s history.

Asked about whether the youth are conscience about the country’s past, Molusi said: “I don’t think the youth today know enough about history. We need to learn more about our history,” she said.

South Africans across the country will commemorate Youth Day in recognition of the brave youths who on 16 June 1976 stood up against the apartheid government's Bantu Education laws.

The sacrifices made by the class of 1976 were a turning point in the history of the country and set South Africa firmly on the road to democracy.

As a result of clashes with the police, and the violence that ensued at the time, approximately 700 people, many of them youths, were killed and property destroyed.

Earlier this week, government called on South Africans to commemorate Youth Month. -SAnews.gov.za

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