The Department of Basic Education will mark the celebrations of Africa Day with schools singing the African Union (AU) Anthem and reciting of symbols. A Ministerial directive has been issued to all provincial education departments to instruct schools across the country to call special assemblies at 8am on Africa Day, Monday, 25 May 2015.
This is the culmination of month long celebrations which continue to showcase a variety of activities under the theme: “We are Africa” – Opening the doors of learning and culture from Cape to Cairo”. The activities will also aim to support the AU 2015 theme: “Women Empowerment and Development towards Agenda 2063”.
During the AU Summit in Addis Ababa that took place from 23 – 31 January 2015, it was decided that South Africa will host the 25th Assembly and related meetings in JuneJuly 2015. Additionally, it is at this 24th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU that Member States undertook to ensure that their citizens will know the AU symbols and learn the AU anthem.
Africa Day is the annual commemoration of the 1963 founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), presently recognised as the Africa Union (AU). The African Union comprises of 53 member states. The AU aims to promote greater unity and solidarity between African countries. It seeks to accelerate the political and socio-economic integration of Africa. The AU is also at the forefront of the drive for peace, security, and stability on the continent.
The department has a roll-out plan for the distribution and teaching of the AU symbols and Anthem in schools nationally. President Zuma announced during the Opening of Parliament on 12 February 2015 that “from this year, schools must also practise the African Union anthem, in preparation for the celebration of Africa month in May, as we implement the African Union decision in this regard”.
The department is committed and support all the energies employed to popularise and highlight the importance South Africa places on the implementation of resolutions made at the AU. The objective of the initiative is to teach the children in South African schools about the AU mandate, symbols and anthem.
The need to conscientise and instill pride and patriotism in the children of South Africa to their African heritage regardless of their race, cannot be overemphasized. We owe it our children to highlight linkages between South Africa and other African countries through the AU.
South Africa recognises itself as an integral part of the African continent therefore learners must be taught to understands that our country’s national interest are naturally linked to Africa’s stability, unity, and prosperity hence the need to recognise and celebrate Africa Month in the continent.
To take the embracing of AU symbols, schools throughout the country will also have an opportunity to sing the AU anthem during the South African Schools Choir Eisteddfod (SASCE) competitions presently taking place in provinces and districts. These are some of the efforts made at ensuring that the children of South Africa learn the AU anthem and show the commitment that South Africa places on its membership of the AU and to the implementation of each and every resolution and declaration that are taken at various meetings of the AU and its organs.
Members of the public are also encouraged, in support of the learners, to learn the AU anthem and symbols. The anthem is downloadable from the Thutong Portal on the Department of Basic Education website and websites of other government departments. Our collective effort will go a long way in eliminating events of the past weeks when foreign nationals were attacked and displaced.
Teachers and Learners are encouraged to be creative and display their passion for everything African on the day.
The provincial education departments and all the education districts have been aised to share details of some of their planned activities for Africa Day after singing of the AU anthem during the assembly at 8am on Monday, 25 May 2015.
Issued by: Department of Basic Education
Source : South African Government