Pupils have their say on Cyril’s address

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Pupils at Collegiate School for Girls got to watch President Cyril Ramaphosa deliver the state of the nation address in the school hall on Thursday night.
The viewing event was hosted by the government communications and information systems department and was facilitated by Nelson Mandela Bay council speaker Buyelwa Mafaya.
Following the president’s speech, the pupils, ranging from grade 10 to grade 12, got an opportunity to engage with the speaker and pose questions on the president’s address.
Mbali Titi, grade 12: “People [who] are watching at home can’t really grasp what he is saying and the speech will affect their lives personally. The president says they will build 200 schools, but the problem with that is we actually have schools that are lacking infrastructure, lacking in education. The government is also constantly lowering the pass rate and I find that highly problematic.”
Nanette Mbili, grade 12: “What has the government done in communicating with the department of public works, municipal offices, because they are in charge of the infrastructure in the schools, and what was done in building of those schools that led to proper toilets not being built? Are funds not being allocated?”
Phelele Bula, grade 11: “We’ve seen in the past that the government has been unable to provide books, desks and [is] failing the department. Is it then not too far-fetched for the government to introduce this when we are already failing to produce basic things such as books and making sure kids are in a good environment to be able to study?”
Hannah Platt, grade 11: “We see that the judicial system is failing in the way that we see a rugby player [allegedly] raping a girl and getting away with it. How is the president going to fix the judicial system and implement policies that are going to lessen rape cases? The whole issue with oil and Eskom – the country is dealing with issues that are unobtainable, like oil. How is it going to benefit SA if it is not sustainable?”
Malwande Ngundze, grade 10: “Something that was not touched by the president from where we stopped was there have been a lot of violent incidents between learners and teachers and the common excuse is the child is troublesome. I feel like this is no excuse to be violent, so what is the government doing to prevent such situations from happening?”
Ovayo Gomomo, grade 10: “The president talked about looking to ensure that tourists are safe. It is just a bit questionable because South Africa is still unsafe but they are looking at tourist safety, rather than the country being actually safe.”
Pictures by: Brian Witbooi..

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