During their visit to the Bavarian Parliament, Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi and Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, met with Ilse Aigner, President of the Bavarian Parliament in Munich. They discussed questions of parliamentarian democracy, work in the fields of education and safety as well as the partnership Gauteng-Bavaria. An invitation to South Africa was gladly accepted.
In a meeting with Dr Florian Herrmann, Minister for Federal and European Affairs and Media in the Bavarian Government, the commitment of both governments to projects in the partnership between Bavaria and Gauteng was confirmed, and relevant current topics and potential next steps were discussed.
In a conversation with Prof. Ursula Maennle, the Chairperson of the Hanns Seidel Foundation shared her lifelong experience in working for a vibrant democracy, protecting human rights, and enabling and empowering especially young people to be active, responsible citizens. Especially in today's world, providing suitable opportunities for meaningful professional and civic education is crucial for individuals, communities and societies alike.
A meeting at the Bavarian State Agency for Civic Education offered the opportunity to speak about diverse efforts to facilitate meaningful civic education for children and young people. The use of documentaries and the arts as well as discussions with participants in historic events was highlighted. The importance of successful civic education to protect and develop democracies, especially in the current climate of a rise in populism and extremist aggressions, was emphasized. Learner Representative Councils in both countries and support for them were discussed as well.
During a meeting with senior representatives of the Bavarian Ministry for Education, Culture, Science and Arts, a focus of the discussions was the German dual system of professional education in TVET colleges and the historical experience of collaborating with the business sector. Other topics were safety in schools and civic education. An exchange program was discussed as well, and learners from Bavaria were invited to visit the Nelson Mandela Foundation during their upcoming visit.
During a visit at one of Munich's biggest police stations, the visitors heard about trust as an important element of policing and the recent history of the Bavarian Police. Munich is regarded as one of the safest large cities in Europe nowadays, and the reputation of the Bavarian Police amongst the population has grown over the years to be exceptionally high today. School safety was a particular focus area of the conversations, and a youth officer shared experience from her work.
The exchange of experience is meant to be continued, and several collaboration initiatives are being planned.