New Bill to teach responsibility

South African school children will be taught a Bill of Responsibilities along with the Bill of Rights, Education Minister, Naledi Pandor, said in Pretoria yesterday.

South African school children will be taught a Bill of Responsibilities along with the Bill of Rights, Education Minister, Naledi Pandor, said in Pretoria yesterday.

Unveiling the Bill of Responsibilities, Pandor said: "It is to say how we exercise rights, with the understanding that rights come with responsibility."

The Bill which has been largely drawn up by the National Religious Leaders Forum, contains responsibilities mirroring those contained in the Bill of Rights.

It includes the responsibility of ensuring the right to equality, human dignity, life, family, parental care and education.

It includes responsibilities to ensure the right to work, freedom and security, the right to property, freedom of religion and the right to a safe environment.

"I accept the call to responsibility that comes with the many rights and freedoms that I have been privileged to inherit from the sacrifice and suffering of those who came before me," the preamble reads.

"I appreciate that the rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa are inseparable from my duties and responsibilities to others.

"Therefore, I accept that with every right comes a set of responsibilities."

Although it would not be a legal document, it would be taught to children as part of the life-skills curriculum, the minister said.

She said posters containing the Bill of Responsibilities would be sent to all schools, universities and colleges to be displayed in classrooms.

"It is to really help all of us engage much more on how do we deal with these freedoms, how do we deal with these rights?" Pandor said.

"This is an educational and inspirational document that is there for discussion and debate, and it inspires to educate," Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein of the religious forum said.

- Sapa

X