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Soweto education in crisis again

Johannesburg - Education in Soweto is falling into a state of crisis again, said a Soweto NGO on the eve of the 38th anniversary of the June 16 1976 student uprisings.

“Our schooling environment in Soweto is plagued by drug abuse, religious maladies like Satanism, violence including rape and murder, financial challenges and collapsing infrastructure with over 128 schools disused,” said Each One Teach One foundation secretary general Jabu Kumalo in a statement.

A total of 267 public school teachers have been fired over the past two-and-a-half years, says Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Credit: AFP

“...On the 38th anniversary of the 1976 uprising, the Each One Teach One Foundation would like to be amongst the first residents of Soweto to say this far and no further, enough is enough!”

He called for a recommital to “deliver free, democratic and dynamic education for all” during the commemorations.

“Let us confront the degeneration of the education system in Soweto and the exodus of children from the Soweto townships to schools in 1/8the 3/8 city and surrounding suburbs.”

The organisation will have a conference in September on problems in education it has identified.

In June 1976, a group of school children set off from Morris Isaacson High School in Orlando, Soweto, to protest over Afrikaans being a medium of instruction, among other grievances against the apartheid government.

In a standoff with police, police opened fire on the children, and a photograph of the dying schoolboy Hector Peterson by Sam Nzima capturing the chaos. This set off a chain of events which led to the township being sealed off, and leading to attacks on government buildings, and many youths and political leaders fleeing the city, and later the country, to go into exile.

It is marked now as Youth Day.

Kumalo was an organiser for the Congress of SA Students and was part of the National Education Crisis Committee during the apartheid era.

The foundation was formed two years ago to address education challenges in Soweto and preserve the legacy of Cosas.

Sapa

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