Zuma discusses SONA with learners

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cape Town - A group of learners from nine schools around the country have urged President Jacob Zuma to outline his plans to address crime, service delivery and improve education when he delivers his State of the Nation Address (SONA) tomorrow.

The learners, who were chosen to represent their schools in a SONA debate competition, met Zuma at his official Cape Town office on Wednesday afternoon.

"We ask you to talk about providing quality teachers in order to improve our education system," said Lesego Motsamai from Mafikeng High School.

The learners also raised issues around the economy, the provision of a better public health system and the skills shortage in the country.

Zuma said all the learners' concerns were very pertinent. "Somehow we think alike and I like that," he said.

He later showed the learners a draft copy of his much-anticipated speech and explained the content and context of the document.

Government Communications (GCIS), the Department of Basic Education and Sanlam have been running a national schools debate on the SONA themed: "Young people can play a key role in reducing poverty and building a better South Africa".

Learners were tasked to debate the SONA and come up with ideas on what they would like to see included.

To date, 266 learners from 30 districts have participated with over 30 events having been completed. The national competition and finals will take place later this evening.

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