#YouthDay: 'Free education will give us the boost we need' – Ncumisa Maxengana

2016-06-17 07:24
Ncumisa Maxengana. (Tina Hsu, News24)

Ncumisa Maxengana. (Tina Hsu, News24)

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#YouthDay  When I wake up in the morning, my first thoughts are of the challenges we face as the youth of South Africa. One of the most challenging things is the growing rate of unemployment rate among youth.

There are two main causes of unemployment  first is the increasing number of school dropouts at high school and universities, mostly because of financial issues. Last year university students from all over South Africa marched against the increase in tuition fees. Second is teenage pregnancy and substance abuse.

We have a huge dependence on government to provide jobs and there's laziness to use our minds and qualifications to become entrepreneurs and create jobs for our communities.

I think the only way to decrease unemployment in this country is to volunteer at a local organisation so that we can gain experience and find jobs easier.

Poverty is also another challenge that we face all over Africa. Because of poor governance, the children die of hunger and foreigners come to South Africa to look for greener pastures.

Success through education

I think one of the reasons we have a high crime rate is because children are raised by single parents without the support of family or a father.

Me and my siblings  we are triplets  are raised by a single parent.

We have zero support from my father and his family. My circumstances have made us not choose crime because we know that the road to success is through education.

South Africa is one of the countries where there is high percentage of substance abuse. This shows during the festive periods. During this season it is the main cause of road deaths.

Our Constitution states that no persons under the age of 18 are allowed to drink alcohol. What we see every day are children as young as 12 years, in their early teens, drinking at shebeens like they are drinking water.

They don’t know the adverse effects of abusing alcohol and drugs. I have seen youth in my neighbourhood losing their minds completely because of Tik.

Substance abuse can also result in unplanned pregnancies and memory loss.

Peer pressure

Teenagers face peer pressure for most of their teenage lives  their friends become the centre of the universe in their lives and they will do anything to impress them.

Their parents try to warn them about the dangers, but they do not listen. I think that another reason teens give in to peer pressure is because they have low self-esteem and crave acceptance.

Most teenage girls lose their virginity because they feel that they are the odd one out and want to prove a point.

Unfortunately the consequences are that they become teenage mothers. Most of the girls in my school are teen mothers and they usually miss a year of school to go and take care of their babies.

I would like to conclude by saying that even though we are celebrating 40 years free of 'Bantu Education', students are still fighting for free education at tertiary institutions.

Their victories will help us a lot.

* Ncumisa Maxengana, is a pupil at Langa High School.

- News24 gave the youth a voice on our platforms for Youth Day. A group of learners shared their thoughts with you. What does Youth Day mean to you? Let us know your thoughts here.

Read more on:    cape town  |  youth  |  youth day  |  soweto40

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