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So while the SA Communist Party has kicked off its 2012 Red October campaign - commemorating that decisive moment in the great 20th century chronicle of Soviet misery – I went abrowsing in the spirit of the Mises Institute’s Pravin is a Communist week. It turns out that the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 isn’t all Vladimir Lenin is remembered for.
“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” ~ Vladimir Lenin
In May next year it will be four years since the appointment by pres. Jacob Zuma of Blade Nzimande as minister of Higher Education and Angie Motshekga as minister of Basic Education. While it is generally known that Nzimande is also Secretary General of the SACP, I coudn’t confirm party membership for Motshekga. However, judging by a speech to the South African Democratic Teacher’s Union (SADTU) in 2010, there’s plenty of red ink in her pen.
Motshekga’s speech was delivered under the theme, “Organise and empower education workers to deliver free quality public education and build socialism,” – a SADTU formulation that the Minister called “fitting” and which gave her “pleasure.” She commended SADTU for “being teachers, yes, working for quality education, but most importantly, also having a historic task of working for socialism.”
Reflecting on SADTU history, she took stock of the current situation:
“Twenty years ago it was a time when the progressive forces were very disunited and had no government of their own. Now they have their own government and have this big majestic force, marching towards socialism.”
And what has this majestic force marching towards socialism meant for school children? Well, like the direction of the boats from Cuba, the direction of pupils hastening away from a socialist inspired basic education system says a lot.
According to statistics published by the South African Institute of Race Relations (2011), the number of private schools in South Africa increased sharply between 2003 and 2008. In the Eastern Cape, where state education is particularly chaotic, private schools increased by about 150%. This trend is sure to be continued – and Chris Becker has noted this before, referring to the private school company, Curro, who plans to own 80 schools by 2020.
Responsible parents should do their best to deny Lenin and his sympathisers that four years with their children – the seeds they sow bear only destruction.