Students express views on June 16

Students from various schools in the community have expressed their views about the forthcoming youth day on June 16. This was revealed when Cosmo City Chronicle held interviews with the students.

Every year on June 16, South Africa celebrates in order to recognise the role played by the youth during the apartheid era. This year marks the 46th anniversary of the 16 June 1976 student uprising in Soweto when young people protested against imposition of Afrikaans by the apartheid regime as a medium of instruction.

Nandipha Masuku, a student at Kwena Molapo High School said the day should be celebrated for bringing freedom in our education system.

“I think every South African youth should get an understanding of why we are celebrating youth day. From my point of view, helps me to understand how education has changed post-Apartheid for black people came into existence in our country.  Even if the protest was initiated by the youth of 1976, we should strive to put that in our educational context,” she said

She added that some students tend to take the youth day for granted.

“I have seen so many young people celebrating “June 16”. But I am not sure if it is supposed to be celebrated in such a way. In most cases, I have come across many students getting very drunk as a way of celebrating the youth day. Instead of spending the whole day commemorating the freedom of education, some students spend the day in taverns and end up finding themselves in dangerous situations due to alcohol,” said Masuku.

Evelin Mlambo of Far North Secondary School said students need to be more educated about youth day.

“Our generation obviously never experienced the apartheid era, but it does not mean we should detach ourselves from youth day. I think our high school history education should go deeper about what transpired during that time. It will make more students pay more respect to youth day. Most students assume that Hector Pieterson was the only casualty during the Soweto uprising. So there is a need for more explanations to the youth on why we need to celebrate youth day,” she said.

Innocent Thabela of Cosmo City  Secondary 1 said youth day symbolises the power of the youth.

“I think on youth day everyone should understand that the youth should not be underestimated. We are now educated in our mother languages, which could not happen in the apartheid era. So we should see youth as valuable in making positive changes,” said Rivombo.

Melody Sibiya, of Cosmo City Junior Primary School said youth day should be celebrated for the lives lost in 1976.

“I think during the apartheid era the blacks were intentionally prevented from achieving their goals. If apartheid was not there black people in South Africa would be in a better position than now,” she said

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