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Annual Imam Haron lecture to focus on the state of universities

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While the late Imam Abdullah Haron is generally remembered as a revered hero in the struggle against Apartheid, the great impact that the imam had within in his own community is not widely known. Members of the public are, therefore, invited to 11th Annual Imam Haron Memorial Lecture in which his work within society is discussed. The lecture, which will be rendered by Judge Zakeria Yacoob, is pertinent to the current unrest at universities around the country.

Speaking to VOC’s Breakfast Beat, chairperson of the Imam Abdullah Haron Education Trust, Farzana Mahomed explains that Yacoob, who became blind at the age of 16 months, played a crucial role in drafting the country’s constitution and is regarded as one of the countries sharpest legal minds.

In addition, he was a judge of the Constitutional Court from which he retired after 15 years of service, in 2013.

Mahomed says that in his lecture Yacoob will explore the state of education and the current student protests.

Attendees will be given an opportunity to engage with the judge on the issues discussed.

Given the fact that the imam encouraged individuals to pursue education, she says that his memory is cemented in the many forms of charitable work that is conducted his name, such as the Imam Abdullah Haron Education Trust.

While the trust provides bursaries to tertiary education students and developed a maths and science programmes, Mohomed asserts that the core focus of the trust is on early childhood development.

“The programme has been successfully rolled out in a number of communities, including Steenberg, Mitchells Plain, and Joe Slovo in Khayelitsha,” she said.

As part of its early childhood development initiative, Mohamed says that the trust provides young unemployed mothers with those necessary skills to aid them with the development of their children.

She notes that early childhood development is integral to them excelling in tertiary education, a facet of learning greatly lacking in impoverished communities.

“We believe that early childhood development should be the core focus. If you look at the current university dropout and high school results, everything points to early childhood development.”

The lecture will be hosted on October 18, 2016, at the Islamia College Auditorium in Imam Haron Road, Lansdowne at 19:30. Entrance is free.

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