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Tiisetso Maloma
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Are we lying told to kids about education?

09 June 2012, 09:28

I recently posted a tweet saying “education does not create jobs”. Yho; the lambasting I got was of a bull’s rage”. I wonder what wrong I uttered. I say it again “education does not create jobs; or rather our education”.

Having a formal education and being an entrepreneur are separate cases. Yes a doctor can open a private practice. Yes of course he is selling off the education he was taught. The other part is that a non educated fella can start a business. Maybe even a medical practice; where certified doctors operate. I’m sure you get the picture I’m drawing.

An entrepreneur realises opportunity; it could be to sell knowledge he posses (learned) or knowledge he hires or some other case. Entrepreneurship requires one to put a step out of their education or lack of it; then perform entrepreneurial responsibilities.

Well there goes my weak argument.

Lies told to kids about education

One has to understand the background of this country or countries with a similar backgroun. From colonialism to the many faces apartheid. The ever popular 1994 came; declaration of democracy.

Fresh from boycotts we started building our inclusive economy. Education was one of the big agendas. It is very good and commendable.

South Africa. Last I heard; over 50% of the youth are unemployed. It’s a sad sad case; this list is very inclusive of undergraduates and post graduates.

Why the high unemployment figures in South Africa? What do we tell kids? What is the reason for this?

Do we (as we do) say to them go to school and everything will be fine.

I’m sure the now graduates are wondering why they can’t find jobs; after (all their life) they have been told “got to school and everything will be fine”.

South African what is wrong? Is it because of the recent recession? Who is to blame?

Do we blame the educated (intellectuals); the guys with doctorates and PHDs? With their high education; couldn’t they have created enough jobs for all! I’m sure South Africa has a plentiful of intellectuals.

Here is what is going on in our economy:

The SA economy is dominated by foreign and non black companies. That’s the design of our pre-democracy politics. It’s a case of former coloniser now as investor. Whilst our heroes were busy fighting apartheid; the coloniser and friends were in an entrepreneur propelling mode.

I’m not even being radical; it’s the plain structure of our then and now economy. We are a consumer economy. We rely on exporting raw materials and importing end products. A model we can’t expect to sustain.

For economic growth to take considerable shape; in no time we need to create companies to compete with the multinationals supplying us with A to Z end products. Economic growth means job creation. More and more jobs if we own a majority of companies supplying these A to Z end-products.

We are 200% keen to educate but not as keen in creating mechanics to swallow the products of learning.

This mechanics of employment (businesses) will not be created through education alone. Businesses are created and led with innovation. For as long as we are not prepared to be entrepreneurs; jobs will not be created. Even with our boffin education.

Consumption of education VS. investment in education!

What are the reasons we go to school? Is it to study, work and provide for our family? If so; then we are just consuming this damn education with no vision of where it should take our tomorrow as whole.

If so; then; like in many cases; we are just consuming what the world prescribes as good for us. Can’t we as a country design how our education should be and where it should lead us to!

Education has to complement and respond to development, efficiency and administration. Meaning we educate to meet new opportunities and needs in society. If not so; we will have an abundance of the educated and employment opportunities.

Education can also be entrepreneurial. New medicine, technology etc. such discoveries and inventions can be fitted into products and sold (some how).

The real

The tangible truth is that; for people to be employed; we more need businesses. I hate (no I don’t) re-repeating this term “entrepreneurship”; but yes we need it.

We can have any number of intellectuals but without products that push for international consumption; unemployment will still be rife.

South Africa needs new businesses with new products. Take a look at Facebook, Groupon, Tutuka etc.

The role of the government is make sure society’s needs come before business needs. Protect business amongst business. Protect society amongst society. Make sure society thrives before international business agendas.

It’s really sad that we over concentrate on foreign investment and still don’t have our own brands. It’s better to own most of our prosperity than assign most of it to foreign mechanics.

Let’s say 1 in 20 South Africans can afford a R500 soccer jersey. A time will come where 17 out of 20 can afford such a jersey. This is big money. Who will manufacture and own that a brand; foreigner investment or local investment? Let’s bank in owning our prosperity.

The how

There are 3 ways (my ideas) to create jobs and own our prosperity in this beautiful and ugly economy of ours.

1. Attract foreign investment to manufacture here in the country

Wouldn’t it be nice if most of the foreign brands sold at Sandton City where produced here? I’m sure most of you are saying that’s damn impossible; you can’t achieve such! I’m all for goodwill and trying!

What if I said South Africa can take on China in manufacturing? We need to think what advantages/difference we can add to attract this sort of investment.

Here is a teaser: China, Turkey, India etc are big time manufacturers. What if we can offer a bonus of highly policing knock –offs.

2. Foster local products

How serious are we about local products. Can’t we say shopping malls should sell a certain percentage of local products and or have a certain percentage of local shops?

Out taxi industry! Can’t we bully a deal were we partner with car manufacturers and create our own car brand. Let me guess; it’s impossible and not good for business! What matters most; good for business or good for society?

3. Foster our own products to international stardom

A lot is imported into our country. Why not start promoting our products to go international.

If we don’t have; let’s create and innovate. We must be prepared to be the change we want to see.

Motivation to kids

When one decides what to study; it’s important to go after what they love; or a path to doing what one loves.

So if you want to be an account doctor, bookkeeper etc; promise yourself that you will be a success. Even if there is an oversupply of doctors; you just have to think creatively and add something different. You can be a surgeon; style women’s breasts, faces, noses etc. there is always a way; only if you are prepared to find it.

There is always a way to be successful in whatever field; even if it’s over supplied with your kind. Prosperity belongs to those who lead difference/change/innovation.

Follow me on twitter @tiisetsomaloma

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