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Disadvantaged schools to teach "World's Biggest Lesson"

by BuaNews Online
on 22 Apr 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

Learners and teachers from ten schools in the disadvantaged areas of Cape Town will be participating in the World's Biggest Lesson to take place on Wednesday.

The learners from Mitchell's Plain, Athlone and Retreat will join millions of children, teachers, parents and campaigners in over 100 countries teaching their politicians, officials and government representatives including journalists the important lessons about human rights, justice and responsibility.

The World's Biggest Lesson is organised by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) and encourages authorities to go to schools to reconnect with learners and the schooling system.

It brings together major non-governmental organisations and teachers' unions in more than 120 countries.

During the GCE last year, Minister of Education Naledi Pandor came face to face with some of the problems encountered by learners and teachers from previously disadvantaged schools.

Ms Pandor spent time teaching Grade 12 learners at Oscar Mpetha Secondary School in Nyanga.

"When I asked learners to read an article from a Sunday newspaper some of them couldn't read confidently and their pronunciation was a bit bad," said the minister at the time.

Ms Pandor said the aim of the GCE was to highlight the critical role of teachers so that the Education Department could become more aware of the challenges of classroom teaching within the new policy environment.

In Durban, over 1𔁑000 staff and members of South African Democratic Teachers Union will also take the lesson.

After the 30-minute interactive lesson, the children will get a chance to use their creativity to pass on the messages of the lesson to decision-makers in South Africa and beyond.

GCE Action Week Coordinator, Muleya Mwananyanda said: "When ministers join in the World's Biggest Lesson, we want to know what they're doing to ensure others get educated, and have the opportunities to be sitting where they're sitting now."

Seventy two million children of primary school going age have never been to school, instead they work in factories, farms, care for their sick parents and work to survive by other means.

In 2000, Heads of State signed up to the Millennium Development Goals of achieving universal primary education for children and to eliminate gender disparities in primary education by 2015. - BuaNews


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