Diploma Ceremony 2017
|Ms Hellen Manakedi Ntlatleng
26 May 2017 - Esselen Park School of Excellence
Programme Director, Ms Bennita Sisi; Chairperson of the College Council, Dr Mpho Mohlala; members of the college council present; Guest Speaker,
Mr Mbuyiseni Quinton Ndlozi - MP; Pastor Mathebula; management and staff of Ekurhuleni West TVET College; parents and family members present - most
important people; our guests - employers and prospective employers; donors and media representatives present; our own students - diplomandi and
those receiving certificates - though last in mention, but not least in love.
A very good afternoon.
My task is an easy one - to say, "Thank you."
Nine years ago, at my first Diploma Ceremony, the numbers we had were not so many and it would not have warranted this kind of venue in size,
but today, it is overflowing - making us to think out of the box.
This event could not have been possible if it was not for the students - actually the college exists because there are students. Thanks for
standing in branding "EWC" and making us proud.
My many thanks to the staff that work so tirelessly in and out of class.
Helen Keller once said, "The World is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of
each honest worker."
To my dear students, this is what you are saying to yourselves:
O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
Exult O shores, and ring O bells! - Walt Whitman
Technical and Vocational, Education and Training colleges in South Africa have entered an exciting space. Along with changes, colleges are
more vulnerable to external influences. Economic forces, i.e. escalating costs and shifting of resources, are some of the factors that have
forced colleges to be more effective and efficient and to re-examine what we do.
Government, professional bodies, industry and commerce and other stakeholders are demanding greater accountability. These have increased
demand for participation, changing student's and lecturer's characteristics and aspirations. The more time and energy students invest in
educationally purposeful activities, the more they gain - and today we see the results thereof.
As a college, EWC has adopted the following as its corporate motto:
If you cannot imagine it, you cannot do it.
We believe in imagining the possibilities - to avoid complacency.
Let us remember that Teaching and Learning is the core business of the college - we exist to promote it. Learning is not confined to the classroom
- it occurs in many contexts and in different forms. The richesy learning environment always produces a clear coherent set of educational purposes
and outcomes. This is what we see today - and it is for these reasons that I wish to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to every man
and woman in the college who made this possible. I am indebted to you.
As a college, we are proud to have produced a skilled workforce for the country - a cohort of cadres ready for the market. We would agree that
we have made great progress over the years. Let us make RDP a never ending project at EWC - a reminder to never forget where we come from in order
to stay focused at all times. Nobody can deny that EWC is an institution of choice. As a collective, we have succeeded in contributing to EWC becoming
a Leading TVET institution in South Africa. Thanks for being revolutionaries of education.
To the college council - thanks so much for your selfless character, for not asking what the college has for you but rather what you could do for
us. Your availability at times of need is remarkable and does not go unnoticed. Your contributions are beyond expectations. JF Kennedy said,
"If you declare yourself a public servant, so shall you be used." - indeed, you are equal to the test. Your contribution is visible and can
Let me thank employers that are present today, even those that could not make it, for allowing our students a space in your companies for
internship. My sincere gratitude goes to commerce and industries around for taking us seriously. You have demonstrated that education is a
societal issue. We are once more giving our diplomandi and NC (V) students (with strings of distinctions) to you, a workforce, and we request that
they be given an opportunity to become artisans and tradesmen. This is the way we would be closing the gap of the skills shortage in the country.
In the same tone, I am requesting our students to go out there to make a difference and add value to themselves, their families and communities.
Grab each opportunity with both hands. I acknowledge your everyday struggles that have given me the strength to forge on.
My appreciation to the parents once more - ke a le rata.
You have sacrificed so much to see this day happening. You are actually the achievers today - deserving all the accolades and ululation. Your
efforts are starting to pay.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me conclude by saying the role of Ekurhuleni West TVET College lies in our core business. Thanks to the almighty who
gave this day to us and which is a blessing to all. If it was not because of his love for us, we would not have been here.
Thanks once more to the Event Management Team, that worked tirelessly without outsourcing this function.
God bless you.
Hellen Manakedi Ntlatleng