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‘Tintswalo’s story not the reality of many of her peers’

todayFebruary 9, 2024 75

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Education lobby group, Equal Education, says while the President’s story of Tintswalo is an inspiring one, it is not the reality of many South African scholars.

During his State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa created a calligram of the first 30 years of democracy, through the life of a child called Tintswalo born in 1994.

The President says she grew up in a society governed by a constitution rooted in equality, the rule of law, and affirmation of the inherent dignity of every citizen.

Tintswalo, and many others born at the same time as her, Ramaphosa said, were beneficiaries of the first policies of the democratic state to provide free health care for pregnant women and children under the age of six.

However, Equal Education’s Researcher, Stacey Jacobs, says while Tintswalo was also one of the nine million learners who benefit from the country’s National School Nutrition Programme, her tale doesn’t mirror that of many black children who attend rural schools, where buildings are dilapidated and unsafe.

Jacobs says learners from over 700 schools across the country are forced to use pit toilets as their only form of sanitation, in which some have fallen inside of them and died.

She says the lack of libraries is one of the many bleak challenges the learners face, which is a stark contrast to Tintswalo’s reality.

 

The governing ANC’s youth wing, however, believes that young people definitely resonate with the story of Tintswalo – who is democracy’s child.

The ANCYL’s national spokesperson, Zama Khanyase, says the nagging issue is the high youth unemployment rate, which will be a thing of the past once the economy is strengthened.

Social media users have also expressed their views to the story of Tintswalo.

Written by: Nokwazi Qumbisa

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