Interview by Dumi Mbona
Dumi Mbona talked to Minister Naledi Pandor, at the heart of the conversation was quality education. Is this a myth or a reality?
Describe Quality Education
Quality education, firstly it must free your mind; you must be trained to be creative, analytical and to be a problem solver but the key indicator of quality education is independency! If education produces dependency then it is not quality. So key indicators are competency, independence, creativity and elevation.
What is the Department doing to address the issue of mental health?
There are efforts that we are making through our ATAs which is not for profit unit, an entity within my department that works on issues of wellness. It’s a broad set of programs; it began with a focus on HIV&Aids particularly education and prevention and it has grown into a very large program where we utilize young people in Universities and Colleges as peer educators to promote wellness and support other young people who may be facing specific health challenges. They are now looking incorporating mental health as part of the program that they offer. And I hope in the next few months I will be unveil the national policy that we are developing on gender base violence in order to assist institutions to have appropriate responses to deal with what is a very challenging problem.
What would be your message to Tag My School Readers going into December?
I always remind South Africans that we want to see you in January so please don’t drink and drive. Don’t abuse the opportunity to have fun and enjoyment; of course we must have fun in the holiday period but when we have fun to excess we are placing ourselves in danger and we are reducing our health status, so have fun but do not destroy yourself.