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Thami Makhanya
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Make history a compulsory subject in SA schools

02 June 2014, 13:37
There is something really wrong with today's youth. They spend all their time doing the wrong things. I am talking about drugs, alcohol, women and partying. They engage in these kinds of things and never lend a helping hand in charity organizations and other places where others can be helped.This is more common among Black youth.
The problem is that the youth of today do not know where they come from. South Africa is a young democratic nation yet I fear that we are slowly but surely forgetting where we come from. Nelson Mandela is still fresh in his grave yet some ignorant youth say that the past of the country did not affect them so they do not care what happened then. This is frustrating because it is being said by my peers.
Just because you are not forced to learn in Afrikaans, just because you are not made to carry a Dompass around town does not mean you were not affected. This is the ignorance of the highest level for people who claim to be educated. The youth have no spirit of Ubuntu anymore. Their parents make a little bit of money and forget the injustices of the past that resulted in today's inequalities. We forget that we still need to carry on the struggle. The struggle is no longer one of arms. It is one of mind. We have fully forgiven the former oppressors for the injustices and we are now brothers but forgetting the past would be a grave mistake.
The solution is simple. Make South African history in its totality a compulsory subject in South Africa from grade 8 up until grade 12. We still have a lot of people who experienced it first hand and their diabolical accounts need to showcased. This should range from textbooks and video. Nelson Mandela played a pivotal role in the struggle but he was not the only one. We had the likes of Steve Biko, Robert Sobukwe, Chris Hani, Moses Mabhida and many other struggle heroes whose struggles have not been documented. 
Let the youth see where this country is coming from in order to shape their mindset on where it needs to go. If this is not done, the sacrifices of our heroes would have been in vain. 
Life orientation is the most useless subject in the schools curriculum. It does not even get counted for APS scores at university. L.O should be replaced with history as the national compulsory subject even in private schools. Our education minister really needs to sit down and think long and hard about this because we are losing our way as a country. 
If we keep our youth focused on the important things in life, drug and alcohol abuse would be drastically reduced. The youth would know what Ubuntu is and lend a helping hand where there is a need. The youth would advocate peace and unity among the different races in South Africa. 
There are a lot of Mandela's in today's youth but this is hidden underneath the "swag" that the youth so badly want to have. People are calling for the resignation of Zuma but there is no leader that is being put forward as a good alternative for us all. This happened with President Thabo Mbeki and look where we are now. President Zuma will resign and then be praised by his critics in the next 5 years to come as we have seen with the DA now praising President Mbeki.
I have a lot of hope and expectation for South Africa. However I fear that if we let the youth forget where we come from as a nation, the future is bleak. If we do not address this issue immediately, I foresee a future where we are content by being middle-class. A future where we are content with spending our lives in suits and ties while we make money for men in jeans and t-shirts. A future where we pull each other down instead of helping each other prosper in life.
That is not an auspicious future. It is a doomed one. So to aid in the bright future of this nation we need the History of SA as a compulsory subject in all schools. To know where we are going, we first need to understand where we are from. 
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