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Education is your future

On 6 November 2020, Unisa KwaZulu-Natal Region participated in the career exhibition held at Enyokeni Royal Palace and organised by the Zulu Royal House. The event was staged on the sport field on the premises of Enyokeni Palace. The Royal Palace is known for hosting the Reeds Dance, where maidens hand over the reeds to His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini, but this time, it staged its career exhibition. Although there have been events of a similar nature before, it is important to note that it will be an annual event henceforth.

His Majesty the King invited tertiary institutions to do presentations about the courses they offer. The monarch and royal house have shown themselves to be passionate about education, and Unisa, as an institution of higher learning, welcomes the opportunity to exhibit its courses and to equip learners with the information they need about what is available for them, to prepare for their future. The event was attended by the King, Queens, Prince Thulani Zulu, Mr Mbatha from the Department of Education, Mr Mthembu, the Royal Chaplain, who opened the event with prayer, His Majesty’s Praise Singer, learners, educators, and different tertiary institutions.

As programme director, Dr DB Khumalo emphasised the aim of education, pointing out that the guests of the day were learners in Grades 9 and 11 and that one, crucially, chooses the school subjects that will prepare one for one’s future in Grade 9. By choosing the right subjects, one prepares oneself for the world of work. It is also important to visit places of work, to learn what they offer. He said that the Royal House had invited different institutions to expose the learners to the qualifications that are available, so that they could prepare themselves.

Prince Thulani Zulu welcomed all the guests present, saying that the King had invited them and would continue to invite students, as he values education and it is his wish to grow this event in future. As a career exhibition, this event forms part of the subject Life Orientation in which “career” is listed fourth under the life skills learners must acquire.

His Majesty the King thanked all the tertiary institutions who were present. In his address he said the reason for inviting tertiary institutions was to help inform the pupils about the career paths that are available in tertiary institutions. He expressed his dismay at the matric results of KZN compared to other provinces. “I need you to raise the standard of this province when you are in matric next year,” he said. He also sees the need to invite other countries with whom he has good relations, to enable learners to take part in exchange programmes and study abroad.

“Today, my children, I called you to this talk to enhance (the) relationship between you, the learners, and educators, as well as to bring (you) back to respect. It doesn’t matter whether you are underprivileged or rich—without respect you will never succeed in life. There must be a link between a learner and an educator and a connection between the parents. I’m aware there are head of household learners; others are raised by grandparents. I know all the problems you are faced with. However, bad behaviour (has a) bad effect on your future. Behaviour is important. You need to be proud of who you are and represent yourself well, and teachers will notice you—in future you will be rewarded in different careers. Today, institutions are here to listen to you; you also need to listen to them and receive the knowledge and information—respect is key in everything.

“Most time, you spend with educators, but today you have to spend time with institutions. When I was in Taiwan around November, I noticed students study in restaurants before they go home. However, some of you leave home as if they were going to school, then go to (the) mall and change (their) uniform in toilets. My children, education is important and the development and economy of this country is in your hands as future leaders. Please don’t waste your time. Be what you want to be tomorrow, and start now. As you are here, my children, I then realise the need to establish kitchens to help those in need, and this will help you. If you don’t have education, you are like a person who doesn’t know where he is going.

“Covid-19 distracted (the) education system, while others managed to further their studies online. It pains me, those who were not able to continue. In Israel, I noticed (the kind of) educational system I wish all my people (could) have. This coronavirus is a disruption, and no one knew that the world would come to a standstill. His Majesty the King feels sorry for educators, as (the) curriculum changed while educators were not properly trained for technology usage. This is a skill we need to work on.

“We need to start talks and initiate our own programmes, especially engineering ones, but all this you won’t do if you don’t have a picture of your community and your future in your mind. Education is your future, and no one can take it away. We need to be serious with our education before we engage in social issues. Technology will equip us to develop our knowledge and infrastructure. We need engineers to build good infrastructure and grow our economy. You need to uplift the economy that was affected by lockdown.

“Lockdown has taught us to focus on economy and use technology. We need to equip ourselves with technology. I want you to be counted in history, as the world is developing. From now, the colleges and institutions must work together in their courses in engineering. Please have contributions in your area, as well as in your palace. I urge all institutions to help me, as they have relationships with corporate companies to lay hands in (reach out to) rural communities.”

The monarch also emphasised the importance of digital coding. He said he wishes everyone to have these skills, and also emotional intelligence to control the emotions of his people.

“I called all education stakeholders to have talks and agree on (the) new normal, to assist learners with (the) skills needed to solve the problem. Drugs/substance abuse won’t make anyone successful, but destroy your future. We need people who are eager to develop our country, not to steal. We need people who will be engineers and be productive and grow (the) economy. Please sharpen your skills! God bless you.”

Some of the schools that attended the career exhibition were King Bhekuzulu High School, Mlokothwa High School, King Phumuzuzulu High School, Prince Nyayisa High School, Kitakita High School, Nhlophenkulu High School, and Falaza High School, all from the Nongoma area.

*By Mduduzi Ndunakazi, Communication and Marketing Officer, KwaZulu-Natal Region, and Sakhile Mtshali, Communication and Marketing Officer, KwaZulu-Natal Region

Teaser image modified from Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons licence.

Publish date: 2020-11-17 00:00:00.0