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AZAPO Voice Volume 2 Issue Number 6

AV2i6


BLACK CHILDREN DYING FOR FREE AND DECOLONISED EDUCATION

Yet again, Mlungisi Madonsela, an unarmed Black student fighting for free and decolonised education has been gunned down by security forces at the Steve Biko campus of the Durban University of Technology (DUT).

It is not unusual for students to throw some rocks and burn a tyre during their struggles for the meeting of their demands.  Without condoning violence or burning of university buildings, it makes no policing sense for the armed State or private organs to open live ammunition on students.  It is not clear to us why should we have, under a democratic government, the same situation of trigger-happy law enforcement agencies who would shoot Black students at a drop of a hat as it happened under the apartheid regime.

Whose children must be murdered for the ruling party and the politicians to stand up and put an end to the senseless killing of Black children?  Is it not enough that Black students were murdered in their thousands during the June 16 Uprisings while fighting for Free and Decolonised Education?  We can remind the peacetime politicians that during the 1980 and 1984 school boycotts, Black students continued to be murdered and jailed for fighting for Free and Decolonised Education.  Is the ruling party not ashamed that the #FeesMustFall movement student activists are still fighting and dying for what the Black Consciousness Movement-led students fought and died for?

The bodies of Tsietsi Mashinini and Khotso Seatlholo have, so to speak, hardly decomposed in their graves, yet the politicians spit in their graves to show them that they sacrificed and died in vain.  The #FeesMustFall student activists have been pursued by the State through endless litigation to exhaust them financially and keep them away from putting back on the struggle agenda the 1976 student demands.  AZAPO condemns these apartheid dirty tactics against the just struggles of Black students.

Despite the promise by the ruling party of free education, it seems as though the #FeesMustFall movement was lied to.  Right now, Black students are thrown out of university campuses because they are still owing.  The government has shifted the destructive effects of their empty promises to the managements of the various universities.  It is not the universities that promised “free education”.  They are not in a position to do so.  The universities need money to be able to run efficiently.  It is the ANC-led government that made the empty promises with a view of killing the struggle for Free and Decolonised Education.  That very same government is now AWOL, because its politicians are sitting and accounting at the various commissions of inquiry on their corrupt conduct.

AZAPO believes that the lack of access to quality education and training does more than impoverish the intellectual life of an individual.   It reduces an individual’s ability to make a decent and sustainable living.  It impacts negatively on the ability of a nation to achieve its developmental objectives and ensure its economic sustainability.  The nature and quality of the education received by a country’s citizens determine whether that country will develop an economy geared for the needs of the 21st century and whether the country’s workforce will be able to perform in high tech jobs.

Therefore, AZAPO will guarantee the provision of free, compulsory and decolonised education at all primary, secondary and tertiary levels.  We will ensure the development of Indigenous languages to the level where they can address important issues in commerce, science and technology.  This will be done to prioritise education as a tool for the full realisation of our being as Azanians, and as an economic necessity that will ensure sustainable growth of our economy.


BREEDING MEDIOCRITY THROUGH MORTGAGED LEARNING

About two weeks ago, a Sunday newspaper published a report on “academic entrepreneurs”. These are qualified private tutors whose clientele are learners, both at primary and secondary school level.

For a fee, these tutors can basically do everything for your child. They can do his or her homework, write his speech assignment, do whatever school project he or she has been assigned. They do not help the learner. They actually do the work on their own without the presence of the learner.

And how does the learner benefit? He or she would get good marks. Wow!

The parents who were interviewed by the Sunday newspaper were extremely happy with the service of the tutors. One parent said that the school projects were vital in the overall performance of the learner as they account for 25% of the final mark. So, according to the parents, learners must be assisted to get the best marks at whatever cost!

How tragic! It is clear that some people have lost understanding of why children study in the first place. For these parents, studying is more about acquiring qualification and not about acquiring knowledge. Little wonder that a school principal gave his Matric learners a memorandum of answers to the exam paper that they were writing. The principal was more concerned about ensuring that his school is among the best performing schools and not about the quality of the education his learners were getting.

The process of outsourcing learning to private tutors can be traced to poor teaching techniques by the teachers. It has become standard that many learners from middle-class background have private tutors because the teachers are simple not doing their work. This process becomes dangerous to learners when learning is completely outsourced and tasks that are supposed to be performed by the learner are done by the tutor. This explains the high failure rate of students at tertiary.

When parents pay private tutors to do school assignments meant for their children, they are in fact participating in making their children delinquents who believe that anything can be bought for money.

These children are being robbed of quality education and a sense of responsibility that is required of them to become responsible adults.

It would not be surprising if these children opt to hire consultants to do the work that they are employed to do.

This practice of bewitching our children must stop, otherwise we risk becoming a mediocre society.

Given that we are part of the global village and that we have to compete with the rest of the world on skills, having poorly qualified graduates can only mean that we will fall behind in terms of economic development and economic growth.


WE MOURN THE DEATHS OF HOËRSKOOL DRIEHOEK LEARNERS

In the same way that AZAPO has mourned the death of our school children in pit latrines, we mourn the death of the 4 learners of Hoërskool Driehoek this past Friday after a concrete slab of a walkway came crushing down on 26 learners.  The children who lost their lives are Roydon Olchers, Jandré Steyn, Marli Currie and Marnus Nagel who died in hospital.

We are told that about 20 learners are still in hospital, while a few others had to be amputated.  That means their lives will never be the same.  The trauma will live with them for the rest of their lives.

While many children have their lives cut short because of neglect by the family, malnutrition or a gangster stray bullet, these learners died in a place that is supposed to be the safest for the children.  They died in school premises.  It means their fundamental rights to education, safety and life have been violated.  Somebody has to account about the death of the children under the custody of the Department of Basic Education.

AZAPO is disturbed by the irresponsible and reactionary calls from some quarters to celebrate the tragic death of the learners only because they are white.  That is immeasurable madness that can never be associated with the liberation struggle.  When Black people condemn the pit toilets in which Black school children are made to die, we have no intention of wishing any other child to die under any circumstances.  Whether black or white, all children deserve to be treated and respected as children in terms of the Rights of Children.

The Black Consciousness philosophy to which AZAPO subscribe, is a philosophy that seeks to restore the dignity of Black people in a society where all people shall be treated equally in their worth as human beings.  Our political objective is to give this country we call Azania a human face, which it currently lacks under the colonial name South Africa.  We are guided by the humanity in BC that we strive for nation-building in the form of One People, One Nation in One Azania.

It is the recognition of that human worth that our military wing AZANLA never went out and killed children in crèches; worshipping congregants in churches; or shopping citizens in Malls.  Our soldiers were highly trained to fight armed personnel and strategic targets of the State.

It is incumbent in our Afrikan values of Ubuntu/Botho that AZAPO conveys its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.


AMERICA’S REGIME CHANGE IMMINENT IN VENEZUELA

The United States of America is at it again.  It will do anything to kill anyone who stands in its way to plunder the oil and general mineral resources of Venezuela.  The US has got its puppet allies like France, Germany, Spain and Britain to back it in its bizarre recognition of a self-proclaimed “president” Juan Guaidó (35) as the official “President of Venezuela”.  Venezuela was colonised by Spain from 1522, and it gained full independence in 1830.  Spain now also wants to dictate whom it recognises as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.

America does not care that there is a democratically elected President of Venezuela in Nicolás Maduro (56) who was first elected in April 2013 after the death of yet another America-hated President Hugo Chávez in office, who was democratically elected by the people of Venezuela in 1998.  Chávez soon made his political and economic policies as those in the line of “Socialism of the 21st Century”.  Lest we forget, America tried everything to undermine the Chávez administration by sanctions and isolation.  America even supported an attempted coup against Chávez in 2002.  He was returned to office within 2 days because of the popular support he enjoyed.

Chávez’ Comrade, Maduro was re-elected for a 6-year term in May 2018, much to the frustration of the United States of America and the imperialist world.  The National Assembly that is controlled by the opposition refused to recognise President Maduro.  Maduro had inherited the enemies of Chávez, chief among which was America.  The hostility of the external factors, coupled with some governance mistakes, led to hyperinflation and the downwards spiral of the economy.  The negative manipulation of the economy was meant to generate discontent against Maduro’s leadership so that he could be replaced by the amenable opposition in control of the National Assembly.

Guaidó has sought to want to interpret the Constitution to declare himself on 23 January 2019, as the head of the National Assembly, as the “President of Venezuela” without being democratically elected by the people.  America and its allies likes and encourages all this in order to undermine President Maduro and the sovereignty of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.  The attitude of America is not surprising considering that President Maduro broke relations with America and gave its diplomats 72 hours to leave Venezuela.  America does not like this treatment, which opens a gap between itself and the Venezuela oil.

Unfortunately for Guaidó and the opposition, Venezuela had changed the Constitution to establish an elected Constituent Assembly, which is more powerful than the National Assembly.  So Guaidó leads a powerless body.  Maduro still enjoys the support of the armed forces, Russia, China and a number of Latin American countries.

The progressive world should not allow American imperialism to undermine the National Self-Determination of other nations and destroy other countries as it has done in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.  The standing up of Russia and China to America is a welcome balancing act that is good for the developing nations.


To print and read the pdf version, please click here ⇒ AZAPO Voice Volume 2 Issue Number 6
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