Basic Education Minister, Mme Angie Motshekga
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Hon Mbinqo-Gigaba and members of the Portfolio
MECs for Education from all our nine provinces,
The Director General, Mr HM Mweli, DDGs and HOD’s
Leaders of teacher unions and school governing bodies,
Leaders from our Entities; Umalusi, SACE and the NECT
Representatives of learner organisations,
Academics and experts in the education sector,
Representatives of non-governmental organisations,
Members of the media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the 2020 Basic Education Sector Lekgotla! This is the first time that I have the honour of welcoming the whole of the Basic Education Sector family to our annual Lekgotla.
You will note from the programme that we are planning to do things a bit differently this year than previous years, but more on that later.
Our Minister, Mme Angie Motshekga, a warm welcome to you. We are also joined by our extended family from the National Executive, our Members of the Executive Council (MECs), the Heads of Department (HODs), national, provincial and district officials.
We further have in our presence Higher Education Institutions, Honourable Members, Ambassadors and a range of stakeholders and partners who share our interest and goal of providing quality basic education to all our children.
A very special welcome to our local and international plenary speakers, with expertise in their respective fields, joining us here for the Lekgotla to share their knowledge and experience.
I am sure that your inputs and presentations will enrich the discussion during the course of the next few days.
We converge here today to put final building blocks on our mission to achieve our goal of realising high quality basic education in our lifetime.
The year 2020 marks 65 years since the 1955 seminal document known as the Freedom Charter was signed into life.
The Freedom Charter represented the dreams and aspirations of freedom fighters from all walks of life, black and white.
To this day it is considered as a seminal document, the core principles of the South African Congress Alliance, which consisted of the African National Congress and its allies the South African Indian Congress, the South African Congress of Democrats and the Coloured People's Congress.
It is characterised by its opening demand; The People Shall Govern!
Sixty-five years later, indeed people are governing.
The Freedom Charter made a bold statement that once freedom is attained, the Doors of Learning and Culture Shall be Opened!
The aim of education, the Freedom Charter stated shall be to teach the youth to love their people and their culture, to honour human brotherhood, liberty and peace.
It called for free, compulsory, universal and equal education for all children. Major strides have been registered in this regard and our Minister will elaborate in her address to us this afternoon.
In honour of all those who made a supreme sacrifice for our freedom, we recommit ourselves to work for the realisation of the Freedom Charter and our Constitution. We will never fail your people.
You received a conference pack upon registration. Please go through the resources carefully, as it contains very valuable information for the next few days.
As I mentioned before we will be doing things a bit differently this year.
The pack contains the Basic Education Sector Lekgotla Programme, the guidelines for managing responses to plenary presentations and Strategic Action Hubs, the guidelines for managing the Action Hubs for the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Roundtable scheduled for 17 January 2020, the floor plan of the venues for the Action Hubs for Days Two and Three and reflection “Post It” notes.
Please write your reflections and post them on the reflection walls at the back of the plenary venue.
Documentation of the Lekgotla will be available to you on the link that was sent to all delegates earlier this week. The hotel has free Wi-Fi available and you will find the details thereof displayed around the venue.
We will also be live-streaming the Lekgotla for the first time this year. Delegates are urged to disseminate the link widely.
I further wish to inform all delegates of the House Rules, which should be adhered to at all times:
- All participants to commit to the discussions and provide inputs based on their experience and knowledge in the specified field.
- Participants to remain in the venue for the duration of the discussions.
- Participants to assist with the summary and finalisation of the PowerPoint for presentation at the plenary.
- Cell phones to be on silent or off during the discussion.
- Participants to be courteous during discussions.
- Participants to add any other house rule in the interest of the Action Hub.
Please note that a charging station is set up to charge laptops and phones.
Lastly, we have several officials available to assist you with any information you may require.