In an effort to encourage pupils to know more about their country, Parliament is urging young people to watch and listen the State of the Nation Address (SONA), taking place today, Thursday February 9, at 7pm.
This emerged during a visit by Parliament’s public education officer, Dr Agnetha Arendse, to Zisukhanyo Primary School, in Samora Machel, on Monday February 6.
Dr Arendse said they wanted to create an environment where young people learn about the history of the country and the duties of Parliament.
Addressing the pupils, she said children had the right to know more about Parliament.
“We have partnered with the Department of Education to drive this campaign.
“This is part of their curriculum. We have linked this information to the life orientation subject,” she said. While urging them to be good citizens, she said it would be good if the pupils could watch and listen to the Sona. She added that democracy was about a lot of things which were advantageous to everyone.
“Democracy is about freedom, respect, human rights, working together, citizenship, diversity and much more. It is good that they learn to know all three arms of the state. Parliament that makes the laws, government that proposes and implements laws and courts which interpret laws. All these are crucial to their knowledge,” she said.
Western Cape Department of Education official Redewan Larney praised the partnership between his department and Parliament. He told pupils that Sona was important.
“They should prioritise that. The Sona is about our priorities. In few years to come, they will know the importance of all that the Parliament of the country is trying to instil in them. “It is very crucial for them to know what is going on,” he said. The programme was also praised by pupils.
Asked what they would ask the president before the Sona if given a chance, Zikisa Nkwele said he would ask him how is he planning to stop racism.
He said he was happy to be part of the programme. “It was an eye opening programme for me and probably others too. It will help us in our school work,” he said. Another pupil, Siseko Dudula, also enjoyed the programme.
He said there were duties of Parliament which he had not been aware of.