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Your fall is not your fail

- Refilwe Mabula

Education specialist, Professor Yusuf Sayed, addresses CLM graduates.

South African graduates need to confront daunting challenges such as poverty, inequality and discrimination that still prevail 21 years into the new democracy. Graduates are now faced with the responsibility of weaving the social fibre of the country.

Professor Yusuf Sayed, an education specialist, shared these sentiments when addressing graduates from the Faculties of Commerce, Law and Management; and Built Engineering and Humanities at a graduation ceremony on Wednesday, 01 July 2015.  

“Today we are still in an unequal society and world. While our black middle class in South African has grown, while progressive government polices such as the social grants and the no fee schools policy has had a positive effect on reducing income inequality, we are still one of the most unequal societies in the world,” said Sayed.

His graduation address was titled: The responsibilities of graduates in a changing and challenging global context.

Sayed encouraged the graduates to address social transformation challenges by creating the world they wish to live in without the fear of failing. “You will fall but it is not about your fall, it is about how you pick yourself up and move forward.”

Sayed added that graduates should lay the foundation for a non-racial and equitable society. “It is to you that we look to build a culture of social cohesion and solidarity that is the cornerstone of every effort to overcome inequality".

"It is to you that we look to become role models as productive, active, and critical South African and global citizens,” he said.

Sayed is the Chair of the South African Research in Teacher Education, and the Founding Director of the Centre for International Teacher Education, at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

He is also a Reader in International Education at the University of Sussex and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at Rhodes University.

Sayed was pleased to see educators at the ceremony. He gave prominence to the role of teachers as the single most important resource in any country and as crucial entities for shaping the future society.

“As a country, our teaching force and the graduates offer much in shaping the future generation of critical and capable South African citizens we will need.”