14 February 2008
Schoolchildren could be reciting a new national schools’ pledge during morning assemblies by March this year. The pledge is intended to instil a renewed sense of morality in young South Africans.
The schools’ pledge, announced by President Thabo Mbeki in his State of the Nation Address this month, will be published soon, giving the public a month in which to give comments.
Education Minister Naledi Pandor told journalists in Cape Town on Tuesday that it had been a long process to formulate the pledge, with the help of various participants, including teachers.
“When schools have assembly we want to encourage young people to recite the pledge to see whether through it, they might internalise those core values that we as South Africans have thought important,” she said. “The values have not been selected by myself; if you look at it, it is drawn very much on the preamble of the Constitution of South Africa.
“We want young South Africans to know that they have the opportunity to change the country. These are universal values.”
The pledge as it stands reads as follows:
We the youth of South Africa,
Recognising the injustices of our past,
Honour those who suffered and sacrificed for justice and freedom.
We will respect and protect the dignity of each person
And stand up for justice.
We sincerely declare that we shall uphold the rights and values of our Constitution,
And promise to act in accordance with the duties and responsibilities that flow from these rights.
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