June 16 is the centrepiece of Youth Month in South Africa. On this day, we commemorate the sacrifices made by youth defiantly standing up to the Apartheid regime in the 1976 Soweto Uprising. Hundreds of young people were killed when they protested against the attempt to impose Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in secondary schools—a measure both exclusionary and a violation of their fundamental right to quality education in a language accessible to them.
Today’s youth enjoy the fruits of the hard-fought freedom that those courageous students in 1976 fought for. But nowadays many of youth in our country face other challenges, including, but not in any way limited to, unemployment and exclusion from the mainstream economy. Ironically, part of the reason is the less than optimal education system itself, which, despite gains made since 1994, has inadequately prepared youth for the realities of the 21st century economy.
Large development programmes that are heavily data-dependent pose considerable challenges, both logistical and analytical. This paper seeks to highlight the challenges associated with traditional systems (i.e. paper-based) of data collection and analysis, and demonstrates how the utilization of digitized technologies (as demonstrated in the Young Women and Girls Programme [see Keeping Girls in School]) can enhance efficiencies in logistics, analysis and overall project management.
In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 1 June as Global Day of Parents to honour parents across the world “for their selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship.”
Parents are the anchors of the family and the foundation of our communities and societies, educating and socializing children and youth, and caring for young and old.
We salute parents and caregivers—mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings – and the role that they play in raising children: loving them, teaching them, providing for them, supporting them, nurturing them, protecting them and guiding them on their path to a happy, fulfilled and productive life as adults.