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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Lesufi praises Motshekga for ensuring Class of 2021 made it to the top against all odds


GAUTENG Department of Education (GDE) MEC Panyaza Lesufi, has praised the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, for her bravery and effortless fight to ensure that all learners across the country continue with traditional schooling despite the Covid-19 pandemic that has claimed 93 846 lives in the country.

South Africa is among the countries that are hard-hit by Covid-19, with 3.57 million cases.

Addressing guests and top Gauteng learners who have excelled despite the pandemic, Lesufi also took a swipe at the former leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Mmusi Maimane for fighting tirelessly that learners in Gauteng should not resume face-to-face schooling to avoid infection. 

“When others felt that these children that you are honouring should stay at home and do one thing, to play and not to come to school, our Minister stood firm, went to cabinet and government and declared that our children are better off inside the classroom, not at home,” said Lesufi during the 2021 announcement of matric results celebration yesterday at Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg.

Out of 127 353 Gauteng learners who wrote their 2021 matric exams, 55 773 of them passed with a bachelor’s degree, 34 132 with a diploma and 15 438 with a certificate.

The Gauteng province is rated second achiever in terms of the pass rate across the country with 82.8%, running behind the Free State that scooped 85.6%.

Lesufi believes the competition between his region and Free State is a healthy one and prays that soon they will take the crown from them. 

“I want to take this opportunity to thank our Minister of Basic Education Mme Angie Motshekga for that brave stunt. If it was not for our Minister, we would not celebrate the victories of these children.” 

In reference to Maimane without mentioning his name, Lesufi said in Kasi lingo, “If it was about this Umjita (township lingo for a guy) our children would be at home doing something that is commonly known, Sigita S’bekaneni (loitering) and not being at school”.  

He said the GDE’s mandate is to ensure that every child is given an equal opportunity to succeed. 

“Ours (mandate) is clear. It is to use education as an enabler to defeat poverty, inequality and unemployment. It is to open all the doors of learning and culture.”

He said yesterday’s celebration was to “honour all our learners from all racial groupings and communities in our province. We do so, proudly that when others told us to close schools, we said we are influenced by science and science indicated there was no need to close schools and today we are celebrating learners that went to school”.

  • * Inside Education
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