WC learner elected as President of Children’s Parliament | Western Cape Education Department
WC learner elected as President of Children’s Parliament

WC learner elected as President of Children’s Parliament

22 October 2021

Hamza Muhammed, a Grade 9 learner at Dominican School for the Deaf in Wynberg, has been elected as the President of the 10th Nelson Mandela Children’s Parliament.

Hamza and three other Western Cape learners, Laycena Solomons, Miche Wagner and Michael Ross represented the province at the sitting in Johannesburg. Alessio Marcus and Ayakha Tono were among the outgoing Ambassadors.

Kubeshini Govender, Chief Education Specialist: Special Projects, hailed Hamza’s election as inclusion and diversity in action.

After accepting the presidency, Hamza said he will make sure that the rights of children, especially children with disabilities, are put on the country’s agenda.

Just before being elected, speaking through his sign language interpreter, Hamza shared with his fellow honourable members that he would like to see more support for parents who have children with disabilities.

“We want them to touch us and love us, but they sometimes do not know how to look after their children and this is an area Government should look into,” explained Hamza.

He said COVID-19 also brought about a few complications for the Deaf community. “We had to wear masks and we couldn’t lipread to communicate with those who cannot sign. The only time that Deaf people were spoken to about COVID-19 was when the President addressed the nation. Maybe we should start talking seriously about teaching every child at school to learn sign language,” he shared.

The Parliament, which is held in honour of South Africa’s first democratic President, Nelson Mandela, brought together children from across South Africa to debate and deliberate on issues such as COVID-19, teenage pregnancy, climate change and poverty under the theme: “Accountability to enhance the voices and rights of children during COVID-19 and beyond!”

The goal of the Children’s Parliament is to create a channel for children’s participation and afford them an opportunity to influence policy as well as programmes targeting at ensuring that their rights are realised.