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UJ Faculty of Education hosts dialogue in commemoration of Youth Day

The University of Johannesburg (UJ)’s Faculty of Education hosted a Transformation Dialogue on Thursday, 13 June 2024, ahead of the Youth Day commemoration. Under the theme “We’re Propelled into Future-Fitness. We’re Left Behind,” students discussed 30 Years of Democracy and the future of education.

Dr. Sadi Seyama, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Education Leadership and Management, highlighted the importance of honouring both the youth of 1976 and the youth of today. “We salute those who are facing challenges and the paradox of this era but are still working with a sense of hope that we can stand together as young people, using a collective voice to ensure a future fit for all, where everyone can exercise their right to vote and live flourishing lives,” she said.

Fourth-year Bachelor of Education (BEd) students presented cases based on their experiences, addressing whether the youth have benefited from transformation or been left behind.

Azara Badrodien, an English and History major, emphasised the need for critical thinking. “We are constantly surrounded by information that we sometimes don’t entirely understand, following the status quo. By enabling critical thinking through continuous assessments, we deconstruct what we are shown. This critical engagement in our learning processes enhances our comprehension,” she explained.

 

 

Katlego Mokgola reflected on the historical impact of June 16, 1976, on South Africa’s education system. “As Nelson Mandela said, the youth must take it upon themselves to ensure they receive an education that equips them to be future leaders. Future fitness is an empowerment vehicle that helps individuals and communities adapt to an ever-changing world characterised by technology and climate change,” he stated. Mokgola stressed the importance of preparing for the future and driving positive change in the present.

 

 

Rabelani Mashishi highlighted the significance of commemorating Youth Day. “As a student leader, we are here because of the sacrifices of the youth of 1976. They fought for us, and we are fighting for our education. This links to the Fees Must Fall movement, reminding us of the leaders who enabled the education we have today,” she said.

 

Students not part of the formal discussion also shared their thoughts on Youth Month. Chanice Marais expressed deep appreciation for the past youth leaders. “June 16 means a great deal to me. It reminds me of the sacrifices of young leaders of the past and inspires me to be a future leader. As a student, I have the opportunity to pursue my dreams while learning about our history and its impact on our future,” she said.

Happy Magopa, a junior project coordinator at the Johannesburg Business School, viewed Youth Month as a time for bravery and resilience. “In anything you want to achieve, do not be afraid to take risks and be open to criticism. This is how you will grow as a person,” she advised.

Mashudu Mokhatshelwa emphasised celebrating youth achievements and potential. “We have to acknowledge and accept the challenges and the potential the youth has,” he concluded.

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