Pre-schoolers celebrate freedom

Little Sinesipho Shumane doing her recitation during the Freedom Day celebration.

Even pre-schoolers can learn about the country’s history. Their carers can always find new and innovative ways to introduce the subject as was proven on Thursday April 26 at Old Crossroads Multi-purpose Hall when 18 early childhood development (ECD) centres came together to teach their children about the freedom the country is now enjoying.

Not only were the pupils taught about the country’s long journey to freedom, they were also encouraged to be better citizens.

It was a fun day for them with dancing among the activities to mark Freedom Day.

Some looked confused but were happy to be among their young peers. Instead of listening to long speeches by their carers, they preferred playing and singing crèche songs. But the gesture to teach them was a good one, said their teachers and mentors.

The day was organised by the Old Crossroads ECD Forum to mark Freedom Day.

Chairperson Nontembiso Tshazi said there was no particular time to teach children about their country’s history but it was important to teach them while they were young.

“We should not presume that at a certain age they will not be able to learn about the history. They can have fun while on the other side we are teaching them. It is always important to teach them that the struggle was not what they see today where people destroy, vandalise and rob people in the name of freedom. Today we mark Freedom Day with them to let them know the past. We took this opportunity to teach them. But we provide a lot of fun in between because these are young kids. Some cannot even listen to you but are only interested in playing. But for us, this is a start and a good start,” she said.

It a was fun day at the hall for the young citizens from all over Old Crossroads. They were given a chance to sing, perform poems and recitations and answer questions from the speakers of the day.

Ms Tshazi said they want children to grow up as good citizens. She said children are a treasure to society so they need to be groomed in a good way.

“It is good for people to fight for services but not to destroy the things they already have. This what we should tell these children. We now have malls closer to us but when we are angry we destroy them. Why must we do that when we can learn from the past?” she said.

Young and old paid tribute to the icons whose lives were dedicated to the struggle.

Caught by surprise by the changes in the government, in their own words, children still think Jacob Zuma is the president, Blade Nzimande the Minister of Higher Education and they only got correct Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, who is still Minister of Health.