Every June on the 16th since 1991 The International Day of the African Child has been celebrated. It was through great effort when in 1976, ten thousand black children marched in a column to protest the poor quality of education provided to them and demanded improvements for the same and a right to be taught in their language. Since then from 1991 onwards the Organization of African Unity commemorated the efforts of these children and their zeal to celebrate 16th June as The International Day of the African Child. In Soweto, South Africa, on the 16th of June 1976, nearly ten thousand children marched together to protest the Black Education Act. The Black Education Act was a means to control was used as a segregation method and was a Southern African segregation law that legislated for several aspects of the apartheid system. Its major provision enforced racially-separated educational facilities. Its major provision enforced racially-separated educational facilities. This act was focused on training the children in manual labor and menial jobs that the government of that time thought were deserving to the natives, separating them and explicitly exploiting them and making sure to also marginalize and hold back Black and force them to accept being subservient to the white South Africans.
High schools were initially concentrated in the Bantustans, reserves that the government intended as
homelands for Black South Africans. However, during the 1970s the need for better-trained Black
workers resulted in the opening of high schools in Soweto, outside Johannesburg. Nonwhite students
were barred from attending open universities by the Extension of University Education Act (1959).
The Bantu Education Act was replaced by the Education and Training Act of 1979. Mandatory
segregation in education ended with the passage of the South African Schools Act in 1996, but
decades of substandard education and barriers to the entrance to historically white schools had left
the majority of Black South Africans far behind in educational achievement by the beginning of the
21st century. The taxes paid by the communities that these people served were used as funding for
the schools, and only a small amount of funding was given to these schools. As a result, there was a
profound shortage of qualified teachers, and teacher-student ratios ranged from 40–1 to 60–1. An
attempt by activists to establish alternative schools (called cultural clubs because such schools
were illegal under the education act) that would give children a better education had collapsed by
the end of the 1950s. To help these children who are still deprived of good educational centers in
these areas celebrities have made sizeable donations to develop the quality of educational care
provided. Most notably Oprah Winfrey established a school in the Henley on Klip, Gauteng Province,
South Africa, namely, Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. This school project began after
she had a discussion with the South African president of the time Nelson Mandela in 2000. The school
started operating in 2007 and 72 girls graduated in the year 2011. Inspired by her disadvantaged
childhood, Winfrey stated that she founded the Leadership Academy to provide educational and
leadership opportunities for academically gifted girls from impoverished backgrounds in South Africa
who exhibited leadership qualities for making a difference in the world. She wanted to help girls
who grew up like her, "economically disadvantaged, but not poor in mind or spirit".
This act was humbly praised by Nelson Mandela - The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls—located near Johannesburg and educates girls in Grades 7 through 12—is, therefore, a wonderfully appropriate gift to the people of South Africa, one that will endure over many lifetimes. When I went to the opening of her school, I looked at the shining faces of these young women and thought every one of them has the potential to be an Oprah Winfrey. The school is important because it will change the trajectory of these girls' lives and it will brighten the future of all women in South Africa. Oprah understands that in Africa, women and girls have often been doubly disadvantaged. They have had the curse of low expectations and unequal opportunities. - Nelson Mandela quoted in Time
Even though soo much has happened still, 57 million primary school-age children are currently out of school, and over half of these are from Africa. The call for universal education from The United Nationals is still an important task that needs to be accomplished for every child in Africa. 10,000 students on 16th June 1976 marched on the streets and sacrificed their lives on during Soweto Uprising in South Africa for their right to an education. Thousands of students were badly injured during these protests. In the following 2 weeks, hundreds of students were shot and hundreds were killed. The day of the African Child also holds an opportunity to raise awareness of the need to improve awareness of the education standard of every child living in Africa. Since 1991, the Day of the African Child has been celebrated on June 16 to commemorate those killed during the Soweto Uprising in South Africa and to recognize the courage of the students who marched for their right to an education. 57 million primary school-age children are currently out of school and over half of these are from Africa.