The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) joins the world the celebrating Nelson Mandela International Day and the month of July which has been embraced to celebrate the life of this world-renowned statesman.

Mandela had faith in education as a game changer. His quotes on education depict his belief. To Mandela, education would not only change the life of an individual by providing skills for economic success, but it could also contribute to nation-building and reconciliation.

As a Union in education, SADTU commits to ensuring that every child in South Africa exercises their right to quality public education. As we celebrate this day, it is sad to note that even though a lot  has been done to ensure that every child access primary and secondary education such as having no-fee paying schools and school nutrition programmes, the country is experiencing high drop-out rates.

Crime and violence in our communities which, in turn, spill over to our schools, is one of the many drivers that cause learners to drop out of school and therefore relinquish their right to education. Teachers cannot teach freely in unsafe environments.

In honour of Mandela’s memory,  we therefore call on communities to rally behind the Union’s, “I am a School Fan” campaign which is aimed at ensuring that schools are safe from looters, vandals, bullies, and community protests so that their children can access their right to education in safe and conducive environments.

As part of the campaign, SADTU will , on 28 July, have the “I am a School Fan” campaign at O.R. Tambo Secondary School in Katlehong where all stakeholders including parents, community members, teachers, learners,  business partners, and the department of education will pledge support the school and do all in their power to ensure it is a safe environment for learning and teaching to take place.

Mandela once said, “It is not beyond our power to create a world in which all children have access to a good education. Those who do not believe this have small imaginations.” SADTU believes the “I am A School Fan” campaign gives everyone that power to create a world where all children have access to education.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat

CONTACT: General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke: 082 783 2968

                   Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi: 082 709 5651

                    Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157