Pretoria – Different schools in parts of South Africa today started Africa Day celebrations by singing the African Union (AU) anthem at special assemblies, following a directive issued by the Department of Basic Education (DBE).
On Monday, Gauteng Department of Education and DBE representatives visited Mondeor Primary School in Johannesburg to witness the spectacle.
DBE told SAnews that learners of the school made efforts to bring national flags of different African countries to the special assembly, and held them high as they sang the AU anthem.
“It was moving to see young learners even attempting to sing the AU anthem in various African languages, like Swahili,” said the DBE.
The department said various schools across the country have drafted programmes to continue celebrating Africa Month and singing the AU anthem throughout the week.
Africa Day, which is celebrated on 25 May, is the annual commemoration of the 1963 founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), presently recognised as the AU.
The AU, which comprises 53 member states, aims to promote greater unity and solidarity between African countries as well as accelerate the political and socio-economic integration of Africa.
The AU is also at the forefront of the drive for peace, security and stability on the continent.
Last week, the DBE said South Africa recognises itself as an integral part of the African continent, adding that learners must be taught to understand that South Africa’s national interests are naturally linked to Africa’s stability, unity, and prosperity.
The department also said schools throughout the country will have an opportunity to sing the AU anthem during the South African Schools Choir Eisteddfod (SASCE) competitions presently taking place in provinces and districts.
“These are some of the efforts made at ensuring that the children of South Africa learn the AU anthem and show the commitment that South Africa places on its membership of the AU, and to the implementation of each and every resolution and declaration that are taken at various meetings of the AU and its organs,” said the department.
Members of the public are also encouraged, in support of the learners, to learn the AU anthem and symbols.
The anthem is downloadable from the Thutong Portal on the DBE website and other government departments’ websites.
“Our collective effort will go a long way in eliminating events of the past weeks when foreign nationals were attacked and displaced,” the department said.
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