MEC Hlophe Restores Dignity Of Pupils Through School Uniform, Dignity Packs In Township Schools

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By Lawrence Mashabela 

On January 17, 2023, Mbali Hlophe, the Gauteng MEC for Social Development, Agriculture, Rural Development, and Environment, spearheaded the school reopening programme in Evaton, Sedibeng. As part of the initiative to kickstart the 2024 academic year, learners from multiple schools received school uniforms and dignity packs.

Flanked by the Head of the Department, Matilda Gasela, Emfuleni Municipality Executive Mayor, Sipho Radebe, and the popular social activist Nhlanhla Lux, MEC Hlophe further handed over garden tools to the schools.

Approximately 150 learners from Qedilizwe Secondary School were provided with complete sets of school uniforms and dignity packs during the visit. Similarly, Beverly Hills Secondary School in Evaton West received a comparable number of donations, catering to less fortunate children in the area.

The Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) provides school uniforms and dignity packs as part of the Bana Pele Programme, which seeks to ensure that learners can stay in school despite their socio-economic backgrounds.

Addressing the learners, Hlophe said young people must be focused and choose to use education as a weapon that will change the situations in their families.

“We know that many of you are coming from a disadvantaged background but if you are focusing on your education, you can become a generation that liberates their families and become agents of change in your communities,” said the MEC.

The MEC further reiterated that education is a foundation for everything if one is determined to succeed.  She encouraged all learners to take education seriously, adding that it is the only way to success.

“Many people who are successful and can maintain their success take education seriously, therefore, you must listen to your teachers so that you can be able to become whatever you want to be in the future.”

“We are here today to provide you with school uniforms but also to show you that we support you and we want you to succeed, especially those who are going to be in grade 12 this year,” she added.

She said the visit to the schools is part of a response to a clarion call by Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi to all MEC’s to conduct oversight visits to schools across the province and to assess their state of readiness for the new academic year.

Musa Keys, a renowned musician, emphasised to learners that his successful music career is rooted in education. He underscored the importance of not taking education for granted, highlighting that the music industry values individuals with a solid educational background.

Actors Khaya Mthembu and Lira Mthethwa, both from Gomora, encouraged young learners to dream big, however, they must not make the mistake of not backing up their dreams with education. Lira Mthethwa emphasised that although she achieved many things as an actor,  she continues to study.

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