Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
Bonezinkulu Magubane is 101 years old and her upbringing in Nongoma, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, deprived her of many things in life.
This includes the right to education. Until this year, Magubane could not read and write. She is among the 8000 people in the province who have been taught how to count, read and write in isiZulu through the Masifundisane campaign.
Magubane was born in 1906. She said during her childhood going to school was just a luxury and that for black little girls it was unheard of.
"What worried me the most is that I could not write my own name, yet kids as young as my grandchildren are able to write my name and more," said Magubane.
Though the school is far from her home, Magubane said she never missed a day.
Another student from Magubane's class, 93-year-old Sifiselani Ntshangase, said she had never been so excited.
Ntshangase said all her six children were employed because of education.
She said her children were fortunate to have a mother who believed in education as the foundation for a better future.
"I am excited, all I wanted was to be able to write my name," said Ntshangase.
Magubane and Ntshangase are among the 8000 people who underwent a four-month long Masifundisane programme.
This is a where elderly people are taught how to count, read and write in isiZulu.
About 2 million people in the province cannot read and write.
Awarding certificates to graduates, MEC for education Ina Cronje said out of the 300000 students targeted this year, 74000 had already been registered for the programme.
This number excludes the 8000 who graduated yesterday.
Cronje said the campaign aims to declare the province illiteracy free by 2009.