Five things parents hope President Ramaphosa will address in the #SONA

Five things parents hope President Ramaphosa will address in the #SONA

President Cyril Ramaphosa during a meet and greet with Ms Sinoyolo Qumba, today, 12 February 2020 at Tuynhuys in Cape Town. Ms Qumba is a 17 year old Grade 11 leaner from Gibson Pillay Learning Academy in Lenasia, Johannesburg. She met with the President today to contribute to President's speech which he will deliver during the State of the Nation Address scheduled for 13 February 2020 at a joint sitting in Parliament. The learner made inputs to President's speech on various issues amongst others including free education, safety at educational institutions and employment in the country. The State of the Nation Address is an opportunity for the President to provide the nation with an update on government’s progress in meeting its commitments and outlining the programme of action for the new financial year. Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

Will the president address parents’ concerns?

Amidst the high rate of unemployment and the string of problems facing state owned companies in the spotlight, the much-anticipated state of the nation address (Sona) is set to take place in parliament in Cape Town on Thursday and parents are also hoping the president will also address these burning issues in his speech.

Safety in schools:

To date, 12 children have died in the Gauteng schools from various incidents, including drowning, falling and bullying. Parents are hoping the president will address the lack of safety in schools offering some solutions around how schools can be safer for our kids. From better equipped teachers to more facilitators, and general safety – kids are dying and the president needs to address this.

Eskom:

While Eskom is a national problem for the economy of South Africa on a microlevel it is important for this issue to be addressed as it also impacts children as they struggle to complete homework, projects or have activities rescheduled due to loadshedding causing serious disruptions for kids. The impact of this will be far reaching on final school results later on in the year.

Processes and procedures when it comes to registering kids at school:

While the president may not specifically discuss this point in detail its fair to ask that the president address the process and procedures followed in the registrations of children in schools as a whole and how this will filter down to improve the manner in which children are registered at public schools across the country. Last year thousands of parent were left wondering where they would place their kids despite following the process rolled out by the Department of Education leaving parents angry.

Women and child safety:

Everyday we hear stories about rape, murder and missing children. It’s a pandemic in this country which just doesn’t seem to end. From teachers to neighbours and family members acting  as predators to women and children being attacked, the president needs to address not only the issue around the safety of women and children in general but also indicate what programmes will be put in place for survivors to deal with the after effects of such traumatic incidents.  Most importantly parents would like to know what programmes government is rolling out to deal with the perpetrators in society to deconstruct toxic masculinity and misogyny in this country? We are tired of saying the words femicide and asking #AmINext? Don’t even get us started on the shoddy statement issued after the murder of Cape Town student, #UyineneMrwetyana

Violence and abuse against women have no place in our society. Govt is calling on women to speak out, and not allow themselves to become victims by keeping quiet. Women who speak out are able to act, effect change and help others.

Better equipped teachers and decent schools

In 2020, children are still being taught under trees, going to school with pit toilets, crossing rivers to get to schools and it needs to stop as a matter of urgency. What will the government be doing in terms of rolling out decent schools for children in desperate need? A child’s right to education is one of the rights enshrined in our constitution.

Other important topics to address for parents:

  • Unemployment: We can send our kids to the best schools and they can perform to the best of their ability at University but what’s the point if they cannot find jobs?
  • Corruption- What processes are being put in place to stamp it once and for all?
  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution: How and when is this being prepared for  so our children can be ready for it?
  • A critical assessment of the South African education system-  When will government really look into whether our education system equips our kids for the real world. A minimum score of 30% to pass? Really?

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