In photos: Deputy minister Alvin Botes launched ‘back to school’ campaign

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Alvin Botes on Thursday 23 January launched a “Back to School” campaign aimed at encouraging pupils to focus on their education.

United Arab Emirates ambassador to South Africa Mahash Saeed Alhameli joined Botes as he hosted the class of 2019 at the Westbury Secondary School in Gauteng.

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Dirco’s work.” / Image via Twitter: Dirco_ZA

The event took place at the international relations and cooperation (Dirco) headquarters in Pretoria, and was hosted to educate the learners about the nature of the Dirco’s operations.

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Caption: “Government of South Africa (Dirco) & United Arab Emirates (UAE) honour matriculants from Fred Norman & Westbury High. More than R1.5m was pledge for tools of trade for graduates” / Image via Twitter: @alvinbotes

The learners were informed about career opportunities in the international relations sector, and various other opportunities they could pursue after completing Grade 12.

Several students spoke about their interest in the career in foreign policy and shared their thoughts on South African’s foreign relations policies. They intend to pursue a career in international relations.

The Dirco team said on social media that “there is nothing more encouraging than watching and listening to the youth who are energised about embarking on a journey” of further education.

Westbury Secondary School’s class of 2019 arrived at Dirco “in their splendour, clad in graduation regalia.” The learners who will be advancing to tertiary level are interested in engaging with South Africa’s foreign policy.

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Caption: “There is nothing more encouraging than watching & listening to the youth who are energised about embarking on a journey of further education, as they talk about their interest & thoughts on S.A’s #ForeignRelations & hopes for a career in #InternationalRelations #DIRCOOpenDay” / Image via Twitter: @dirco_za

“The embassy of the United Arab Emirates is pleased to be a part of this initiative and commends Dirco for organising the event,” Alhameli told the gathering. He added:

“The late founder of the United Arab Emirates, his highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, once said ‘a country’s greatest investment is building generations of educated and knowledgeable youth’.”

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Westbury Secondary School’s class of 2019. / Image via Twitter: Dirco_ZA

Addressing the students, Alhameli emphasised the UAE’s principles, which focused on education as a critical ingredient to the development and success of any society.

Alhameli also announced that the UAE embassy would embark on a $2m project to support 40 South African schools. He also gifted the top achievers of the Class of 2019 with 179 tablets.

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The class of 2019. Westbury Secondary School. Image via Twitter: @Dirco_Za

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