When President Cyril Ramaphosa presented his first State of the Nation address in Parliament on February 16, he called up the memory of the recently deceased music legend Hugh Masekela and invited South Africans to “lend a hand”. Social media was alive with requests for the president to #SendMe, in response to this moving call.
Unfortunately, children with disabilities, their parents and disability rights activists have not received Ramaphosa’s promises with equal optimism. We have become numb to winning slogans and passing references to children with disabilities’ plight in political speeches. We have also learnt through bitter experience that no slogan or symbolic gesture can replace the systematic overhaul of the basic education system that is required to ensure an inclusive education for all children.
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