Dr Magashule…a befitting honour

Magashule honoured for vision...

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - For the first time in the history of the Free State premiers, Ace Magashule was conferred with an honorary doctorate which is referred to as Doctor of Philosophy: Honoris Causa by the Bahcesehir University in Istanbul, Turkey. The event was held on September 29 and have seen congratulatory messages pouring in from the length and breadth of the globe. Since he took to the highest office in the province in 2009, he has always recognised education as a key driver for the economic emancipation of his people. In order to realise this vision he has under took bold and brave strides in finding the budget to kick start and grow the bursary project which would see deserving students of the Free State having their tuition being funded by the Free State government. To broaden and diversify the skill set of the qualifying students, he was able to identify countries which excelled in certain disciplines. For example Cuba for medicine, India and Turkey with ITC including China as a global innovative leader. This strategy of prioritising education, had pull through from primary and secondary education which under-pinned the province’s performance in obtaining the number one spot in matric results countrywide in 2014 and 2016 with collective efforts from leaders like the MEC for Education, Tate Makgoe, who Magashule fondly referred to as the champion of education in the province in his acceptance speech that he made at the ceremony. It might be incredible to imagine students now afforded the opportunity to study thousands of kilometres away from home when a few decades ago their parents could not even cross the dusty streets around their homes and venture not many kilometres away under the pass laws without the threat of arrest or persecution. It is  therefore befitting now to see this accolade to bestow premier Magashule with such an honour for his vision in plant the seeds of education that is bound to bear harvest for province and country in the years ahead.
In his acceptance speech captured by Hlasela TV, Dr Magashule said he would like to dedicate the honour to his fellow colleague in the Free State provincial government, the students and his family. He quoted Nelson Mandela on his famous statement where the late former president said that education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. “As a leader of government, I am part of a collective that is attempting in its unique way to equip our people with education through knowledge acquisition, our collaboration with BAU University, is an honest indication that our goals in the education sector are mutually beneficial. This can be evidenced by the number of students from the Free State and other parts of South Africa that are enrolled in this prestigious institution. A ground breaking agreement between chairpersons of our university and that of BAU to allocate ten PhD Scholarships to Free State students,” said Dr Magashule.
He added that he has also committed in the next three weeks, to bring a group of about sixty students, we have also pledged to bring our IT students who must come here to do cyber security because as the world we have to protect our information.
“We as the people of South Africa and the people of Turkey, are moving together as one family. As an activist, I feel activated by our young students, away from home but at home. I also hope that this event will act as a catalyst for education excellence to our students, I also want to indicate we have more than seven thousand students in various institution here in Turkey, India, Cuba, Portugal, Russia and in Nigeria, we going to have students in Germany, we will take more to Rwanda and Brazil too.
One of the clauses from the Freedom Charter says that the doors of learning shall be opened. (Hendrick)Verwoerd said blacks should not study mathematics, as a result we under President Jacob Zuma’s leadership have been motivated to make education an apex priority,” said Dr Magashule.
ANC spokesperson, Thabo Meeko said as an organisation, they were excited by this international recognition befitted upon our chairperson.
“Comrade Ace has consulted with the organisation to ask whether to accept or not and therefore we gave him a go ahead to accept the honour. We agreed that the recognition is long overdue, his history of the struggle during apartheid and his leadership now in terms of ensuring that this democracy works for our people to resolve challenges of poverty and underdevelopment. In 2009, when the premier got into office, there were only less than a thousand bursaries but in 2010, the number ballooned to seven thousand plus and this shows that he is responding well to the call made by the ANC to place education as  priority,” said Meeko.
He added that as a product of the ANC, Magashule never disappointed, he understood that the development of an African child was important because educational opportunities were not there during apartheid.
Meanwhile,  in his letter to the premier, the Rector of BAU University, Dr. Senay Yalcin said the title of Honorary Doctor is not lightly given, it is due to years of service.
“I can think of no better way to acknowledge your public service and your efforts to build relations between our countries,” said Yalcin.

Add new comment