A country where children march...
Imagine a country where primary school children have to march to demand quality and equal education from their leaders in government. Over a hundred children from various schools in the Buffalo City Municipality Metro marched to the City Hall to hand over a handwritten memorandum to the Mayor on Saturday ahead of Universal Children’s Day on November 20.
Themed ‘Let us protect all children to move South Africa forward’, the memo with each page written by a child, highlights the need for equal education for all children both in public and private schools, the right to not be touched in their private parts, to not be judged because of their poor backgrounds, decent shelter, safe and healthy homes, adequate healthcare, social security, freedom of speech, to not be judged for what they wear and for their rights to be enforced more.
One child made an honest record, detailing, “I think adding my rights will be redundant because the currently prescribed rights are not met, rather aim for increased efficiency of rights so that they can be met sufficiently and properly”. The March was organised by the Buffalo City Central Library in commemoration of Children’s Rights Day. Apartheid left South Africa with a deeply unequal and dysfunctional social system.
Twenty-five years into democracy, the pace of change has been slow. A fortunate few receive world-class education; for the majority, basic education remains a hope rather than a reality. Councillor Ntombizandile Mhlola received the memo on behalf of Mayor Xola Pakati and she said, “I am very happy that this March was led by the children and it shows that our country is in good hands with these future leaders standing here for their rights.”