Office of the Premier 26/08/2019 - 09:11
MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi has stressed that the name change of Hoerskool Hendrik Verwoerd to Rietondale Secondary School was not a revenge mission.
Addressing the media on Friday, 23 August, MEC Lesufi said the campaign by the Department of Education of changing offensive school names had nothing to do with claims that he was targeting the Afrikaans language.
"Before I am accused of targeting Afrikaans, I wish to declare today that we will embark on a campaign to change offensive school names, including schools named after Bantustan leaders. We issued a circular 6 in 2016 to open a window of opportunity to all schools that want to change their names, this school took advantage of that circular.
"There are many things to consider when naming a school; we do not want a name that is insulting, a name that excludes, a name that will remind us about the past and unfortunately those who want to trivialise name changes are people that in most cases benefitted from the same name," said Lesufi addressing the media.
He said the school initiated this process and wished the school the best as it opened a new chapter in its history. The school community was proactive and they committed to the programme.
"We want everyone to feel at home so that there can be no one who says this name is offensive to me. They went for neutral name, as it is the name of the area where the school is located.
"The new school name changes the culture, the ethos, the approach and attitude towards each other and that is why our common message is that we do not want to destroy we want to be inclusive," concluded the MEC.
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