Education an essential service: Zuma

By Drum Digital
14 March 2013

Community development workers must help government spread the word that education is an important and essential service, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

"It is for this reason that we are prioritising the remuneration of teachers in the work of the remuneration commission that we are establishing to look at the working conditions of public servants in general," Zuma said in Boksburg on the East Rand.

He was addressing a community development workers' conference hosted by the department of public service and administration.

"When you engage parents, school governing bodies, and other stakeholders, you should reiterate government's seriousness in turning our schools into centres of excellence, thus elevating education to its rightful place in our society."

Zuma said teachers needed to be in school on time, teaching. Children also had to arrive on time and respect teachers. Education had to be a number one priority.

"The less citizens of a country are educated, the less the development. The more citizens [are] educated, the more developed [a country is]."

Community development leaders needed to communicate this to people.

During apartheid, the vast majority of South Africans were not educated because they were told they did not need to be.

"That is why we have a backlog today... People are unemployable because they don't have skills," Zuma said.

-by Sapa

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