– The Daily News – 3 October 2008
By Irene Kuppan
The final version of the school pledge will “most definitely” be recited in South African schools by the start of the next school year.
Department of education spoksperson,Lunga Ngqengelele said a team set
up by the department was currently sifting through the many submissions
put forward on the proposed pledge.
Ngqengelele said the submissions received had proved very helpful.
The wording of the pledge could be changed depending on the response the department received from the public. He was quick to point out that the school pledge was not compulsory, but something the department “strongly recommended.”
The department received thousands of submissions from teachers, pupils, parents, individuals and other groups earlier in 2008. The controversial pledge sparked an outcry from political parties, teachers, parents and academics when it was first released by Pandor in February.
When the pledge was released, political parties and several organizations voiced their unhappiness with the wording. They felt the references to the past in the pledge would undermine instead of promote the principles of the Constitution. Some complained about the length of the pledge, others said pupils should not be forced into reciting it. The pledge will have to be recited by pupils at least once a week before class starts or during assembly.