It will probably be a long time before the people of Madidi in the North West Province see the Minister of Higher Education and Training again, but they are hoping that her visit on the 14 of August 2018 will bring about more positive changes to the community. She made welcomed promises.
The minister went to visit the Good Shepherd Community Learning Centre, run by the Good Shepherd Sisters under the auspices of the Catholic Church.
Archbishop William Slattery of Pretoria Archdiocese, who is also the spokesperson of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC), was present to welcome the minister with great appreciation on behalf of the Catholic Church in Southern Africa.
During his welcome speech Archbishop Slattery thanked the minister for visiting the project, consolidating the partnership between the Catholic Church and the government on issues of education and development skills….Read More…
Continuing in his remarks Archbishop Slattery said, “The wealth of South Africa is the people of South Africa and that is what you’ve come to enrich today, to bring the Department of Higher Education into the lives and homes of people in this area.”
The Archbishop said that it is the joy of the church to work with the government, and there is no doubt that what the community learning centres are endeavouring to do is to offer skills to all young people and to make them creators of skills in the future.
Archbishop Slattery also remarked on the importance and impact of basic skills in our society. He said that they are absolutely fundamental for lives of South Africans, and South Africa needs basic skills to build up the country. He noted that many countries have great economies today but they all started off with basic skills.
About the Good Shepherd Centre itself the Archbishop said, “Yes, this is a Catholic Centre, but it is for everybody. The people who are here are from different faiths. They are all very welcome here. Our task as the Catholic Church is to enrich humanity and give people an opportunity.”
Archbishop Slattery appreciated the work done by Sister Colleen and the Good Shepherd centre. “But I want to thank Sister Colleen in a very special way. She is here every day, she has built up this place bit by bit, piece by piece”, said the Archbishop.
Lastly, Archbishop Slattery did not forget to thank the local people for their welcoming attitude, “The people around here are being very receptive, very good people, and it’s a joy to work with them, open doors that the future for them also is bright, and that the sun shines on all the children of South Africa”, the Archbishop reiterated.
When giving the keynote speech the Minister, Naledi Pandor, said she is particularly happy to see so many young people taking charge of their lives. She added that that it is very important that people should take charge of their own lives.
The minister lamented that there are some people, particularly many who are believers, who think because we are believers there’s nothing that we need to do, we must just believe, and manna will drop from heaven onto our laps.
Naledi Pandor also encouraged young people to be the legacy like Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu. She further said Sr Colleen and her staff at the centre have put up excellent programmes for young people to benefit from. She also noted that when we are young it is very difficult to keep on the straight and narrow.
Minister Pandor encouraged young people to be committed to their mission. She went on to say, “If we can develop effective community education and training programmes we will be able to fight poverty, inequality and exclusion, which are very huge set of challenges for our country”.
Minster Naledi Podor also acknowledged the challenges faced by South Africa regarding the educaton of young people. She said we have a problem in our country. We have around Nine million people (young) who have never had education at all. “I believe that well-structured, well supported community education and training centres are the answer to this problem.” She emphasised.
The Minister appreciated the work of the centre further saying she was intrigued that there at the mission the youngest student is 16 years old and the oldest student is 85 years old. She affirmed that the centre is doing exactly what a community centre should do.
Minster Naledi Pandor brought more joy to the people of Madidi as she stated her promises. She noted, “I am aware that people have problems with roads”. She promised to speak to Minister Thulas Nxesi, the Minister of Public Works, to see how he can help with building proper and good roads in Madidi. The people welcomed her promised, and expressed their appreciation by applause and ululations.
In addition, she announced a funding commitment of R250 000 for the sowing and beadwork programme. She said it is her hope that in the coming months and year they will try to do even more. She further said the funding is very kindly provided by the Fibre Processing and Manufacturing SETA.
Coming towards the end of her address, Minister Pandor said they will work closely with the centre to ensure that the programmes are accredited as quality programmes.
In conclusion the Minister of Higher Education and Training expressed her pleasure about the established partnership. “So I’m really pleased Sister that we can help in this way and I am hoping that this is a beginning of a partnership between us and your centre and the community college in the North West”, she said.
Minister Naledi Pandor ended her speech by appreciating the beautiful music with which she was welcomed.
Compiled by: SACBC Communication & Media Office.
For more information regarding Good Shepherd Community College, kindly see…….