Zuma on UN education body is ‘surprising’ – Jansen

2012-09-27 09:07

Free State University rector Jonathan Jansen has said the appointment of President Jacob Zuma to a United Nations education initiative was “surprising”, but this was how politics worked.

“Zuma was also the head of the moral regeneration movement at a time,” he quipped.

Zuma yesterday joined nine other heads of state as a “champion” of a UN education initiative that aims to not only provide global access to education by 2015, but that also deals with issues of quality.

Jansen, who is also the president of the SA Institute of Race Relations, told a breakfast of the institute in Johannesburg this morning that South Africa needed a change in society.

“There are no shortcuts to changing society,” he said.

“The only way out is a social revolution that once again places education at the centre of the agenda for change – not in the form of yet another round of rhetoric by the powerful – but through a social movement among ordinary people that urgently confronts the rot in the school system before it is too late.”

Jansen also said he didn’t really see hope within the next seven years for a big turnaround in South African society.

He said the country needed a different government which could see the need between social and material well-being.

Jansen was also asked by members of the audience whether he would become involved in politics and become minister of education, but he laughed it off.

Jansen quipped he wouldn’t be able to sit in Cabinet meetings where decisions were taken to refuse a visa for the Dalai Lama.

» Read the full speech here.

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