Public Enterprises Minister and member of the ANC National Executive Committee, Pravin Gordhan has reminded a group of pupils that education is the key to fulfilling their dreams.
The minister also reminded them about the sacrifices made by their parents for them to get an education.
Mr Gordhan addressed pupils from Langa and Khulani high schools in his capacity as an ANC member on Wednesday January 16.
He was in Langa to motivate pupils in the area.
He urged them to take advantage of each day of the new school term.
In a packed Langa High School hall, he told them to remember that with every right comes a responsibility.
“Education will decide what your future is. It will help you and your family, community and country to develop to another level.
“You should understand your history, the struggle of the students who fought for free education, and better education and the sacrifices made for you to be here.”
In encouraging them to take their education seriously, he made an example of the Asian country of Singapore.
He said as small as Singapore is, it has very educated and skilled people.
He said South Africa has all the necessary resources so pupils need to use them to their advantage.
Mr Gordhan urged pupils to respect their teachers and others.
“Know what is going on around you. Work hard to be champions. Research and share information. Be curious all the time and believe in yourself. But mostly, be a good citizen.
“Be at school on time and every day,” he urged them.
The excited pupils gave him a standing ovation before he spoke and after.
He was accompanied to the school by the Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Mcebisi Skhwatsha, and local councillor Nomtha Dilima, among others.
Khulani High School principal Bonakele Busika told the minister there are challenges in the Quintile 3 schools.
He said as teachers they want to push the children to succeed but the financial allocation for each child is not enough.
He said another challenge is the lack of parental involvement in their children’s education.
He appealed to the minister to help schools in the challenges they face such as under-staffing.
“Another challenge is to develop these young people to master the skill of how to learn. We are faced with a lot of challenges.
“Our parents are also not there for children. Please minister, talk to the businesses to help out,” he appealed.
Mr Busika said it was a privilege to have a person of Mr Gordhan’s calibre visiting their schools.
In closing, he also urged pupils to register to vote.