Education is the best weapon we have

2013-04-07 10:01

I believe education is our best weapon in abating our levels of inequality, unemployment and poverty.

Successful nations have prospered because of their investment in education.

Surely we can do the same at home, and be even better?

Applied well, ­education yields jobs, entrepreneurs and a prosperous nation, one less dependent on government.

The greatest return on investment for taxpayers’ money is an educated populace.

The unpleasant tendency by children of a school-going age to wander the streets instead of being in school is surely not a return on investment for the taxpayer.

South Africa can only thrive with contributors, not takers.

It is bad enough our education produces a dependent populace.

The Constitution grants every person the right to a basic education.

The SA Schools Act (1996) provides for compulsory education between the ages of seven and 15.

But many of these youngsters are not in school.

Their parents fail to comply with the act.

Youth are forfeiting their right to education and a solid foundation for a shot at a better life.

The Schools Act determines that if parents can afford to send their children to school and fail to do so, legal steps will be taken.

What is the role of government in this case? Should it not find those parents whose children are not in school and apply the law accordingly?

It cannot be allowed that, in our democracy, we are breeding another generation of citizens who can’t read and write, and worse, fuel crime.

More worrying is these children are from our historically disadvantaged communities.

Don’t the parents care?

To me, this sounds like a perpetuation of our problems.

It’s a disservice to the country and to communities in which these children reside.

Is it not necessary that government strengthen the law?

Government spends a lot of taxpayers’ money to subsidise much of the schooling in the public sector, while a lot of it goes down the drain. It further provides free schooling to those from destitute communities.

Equally enough, this spending needs to be qualified.

The parents are liable and should be held accountable.

Why do we complain when it is plainly our communities, parents and all role players who are failing in their duties to abate the problem?

Let us remember our National Development Plan rests on a functional and working citizenry.

» Ntshauzana is from Maclear in the Eastern Cape

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