South African National Tutorial Graduation Ceremony

Address by the acting Premier of the Northern Cape, Ms Grizelda Cjiekella, on the occation of the South African National Tutorial Graduation Ceremony held on Wednesday, 12 December 2012, in Kuruman, John Taolo Gaetsewe District

• Master of Ceremonies
• Members of the Northern Cape Executive Council
• The Management and staff of Sishen Iron Ore
• The Management and staff of the Maphalane Disabled Children’s Trust
• The Management and staff of the South African National Tutorial Services
• Government Officials
• Invited Guests
• Ladies and Gentlemen
• And most importantly, all the Graduands who have assembled here so expectantly this morning
It is no coincidence that I am here today.
When I first learned of the invitation from SANTS, the South African National Tutor Services, I was extremely delighted.
I am passionate about education and even more so considering all the good the graduands will offer to the various communities in our home province, the Northern Cape.
I also come here today with the thought that indeed we can redefine the living notion of Ubuntu by proactively adopting a culture of genuine caring, sheer hard work, integrity and diligence.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to witness this graduating Class of 2012 as it marks the culmination of 18 months of hard work and determination.
I am certain that each and every one of you will be proud of the certificate you are about to receive: a reward for your effort that you will surely cherish and treasure for the rest of your life.
Honourable Graduands, always remember that a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.
When you decided to study this course you were determined to achieve excellent results.
Excellent results that are not only reflected on paper, but results that are worthy of improving the general wellbeing of our Province, and indeed our great country!
Today, Honourable Graduands, we are sending you out to our communities as caring women and men of integrity; always tangibly grasping the opportunity to help our province and country to redefine and solve the many challenges we encounter.
I am strongly convinced that you will live up to your calling to the very best of your abilities, and I once again congratulate you on your newly acquired success.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the success that we are about to witness can be attributed to the vision and foresight of not only the ANC-led Provincial Government, but also to the indispensable roles that have been played by Sishen Iron Ore and SANTS.
This certainly is a telling example of genuine partnerships and the positive results that they can achieve in a developmental state such as ours.
Honourable Graduands, when you join like minded South Africans in building our nation, I urge you to demonstrate your newly acquired competencies by giving off the best in terms of the qualifications you have attained.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is important to note that SANTS approached Maphalane Children’s Disabled Trust to discuss an intervention strategy for children with learning disabilities in institutions where our Early Childhood Development practitioners are working.
The understanding between the parties was that SANTS would develop a strategy that will encompass a broader approach to ECD where a full and accredited qualification is earned by students with the express view of incorporating specific modules that addresses this specific challenge.
Maphalane approached its benefactor, the Sishen Iron Ore Community Development Trust, also known as the “Super Trust”, to make funds available for the project.
Out of the beneficiation from the Super Trust, 250 students from all districts of the Northern Cape Province were enrolled for the Further Education and Training Certificate in ECD, Inclusive Education NQF Level 4.
I must add that this is the only qualification of its kind in South Africa that was specifically developed to address and identify learners with special needs.
This qualification gives practitioners the knowledge on how to deal with children that may have barriers to learning and it also gives them the necessary tools to provide early detection, intervention and support to learners with special educational needs.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we sincerely encourage Maphalane and the Department of Education to broaden the scope and implementation of this programme and ensure that more practitioners, and where applicable, educators in Foundation Phase be exposed to this programme.
Too many of our children get lost in the system when it is believed that children are slow or backward because practitioners and educators are unable to properly identify and diagnose barriers that lead to learning disabilities and difficulties.
Ladies and Gentlemen, with this qualification, practitioners are now in a position to gain entry to the Diploma Grade R Teaching, which if completed, will place practitioners on REQV 13 as fully fledged educators with specialization in Grade R.
This programme can also be accessed through SANTS who is currently the only Higher Education Provider that can offer the programme.
In short, Ladies and Gentlemen, the programme achieved the following outcomes:

 

  • It enrolled 250 practitioners and trained them to deal with our most precious resource (our children) in a constructive and educationally sound manner.
  • It gave practitioners the skills to prepare all children for Grade R and where it does not exist, for Grade 1 in the schooling system.
  • It provided practitioners with a platform, through an accredited qualification, to pursue their studies and become fully fledged educators that could be deployed in Grade R.
  • Furthermore, it gives the Department of Education a skilled corps of educators with the necessary tools to unlock the full potential of all children.
  • Finally it provides all our children with an equitable platform to enter the formal schooling phase with all the tools required to excel academically, personally and with the potential to succeed in becoming productive and conscientious citizens.

In conclusion, Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to congratulate and extend my best wishes to all graduates today.
I am certain that you will go out there and serve our communities with dignity, respect and the highest level of professionalism.
Our communities definitely need your service.
Your commitment to improve the well-being of our province is sincerely appreciated.
I also take this opportunity to thank all the role-players for the excellent work, both academic and logistical, in making this event a resounding success.
I Thank You

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