#YouthDay: 'Our school needs chairs, desks, funds' – Lebohang Mamabolo

2016-06-17 07:48
Lebohang Mamabolo (Supplied to News24)

Lebohang Mamabolo (Supplied to News24)

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#YouthDay  Forty years ago high school learners from all over Soweto decided to march against Afrikaans as medium of instruction, but today, young people have different struggles.

When I wake up in the morning, my first thoughts are that as the young of today, we have many challenges we have to go through, even though the challenges are not as those of the youth 40 years ago.

As the youth of 2016, we are looked upon as the born-frees, the great ones, the presidents of tomorrow, but it’s not that easy to carry that heavy burden. The youth of 16 June 1976 were fighting because they didn’t want Afrikaans as a medium of instruction, while the youth of 2016 are fighting for so many things.

One is that being a black child to get your voice out there is a challenge, while you see white private schools come up with interventions, they immediately get funders.

Black children struggle

As the black child coming from a government school, you have to struggle to get funders, just because you are black. This shows that racism is still there and will never stop. Another struggle is that schools in the township don’t have enough equipment, like chairs and desks, for learners to use.

Even when we raise this to the government it doesn’t help. As the youth of 2016, we see that the government keeps on making promises of giving us jobs but many are still jobless, hence they end up being hooked into things like substance abuse and alcohol. Many of our peers get lost in that which then leads them to school leaving and staying at home.

The government is doing nothing to help. People who are selling drugs to the youth are also not being dealt with by government.

University fees a huge factor

A huge factor that is making the youth suffer is university fees, which are increased. The youth is then not able to afford as the fees are too high. Not long ago students were marching against the increase of fees in tertiaries, which is very sad to see as we believe that the government knew about it and did nothing.

Not until students stood up on their own. Nobody cares about the effects on the current matriculants, on how many of us are going to be able to pay after matric. And that will contribute more into unemployment of the youth. It is the black child that suffers most but for as long as a white child is covered, it’s not a problem.

This is not the freedom our mothers and fathers fought for, they hoped for better for us. We are also not going stop until it is a better world we always hoped for. This is for our brothers and sisters to come. Heal the world and make it a better place for all that live in it. As South Africa belongs to all who live in it.

* Lebohang Mamabolo is a Grade 10 learner at Sekano Ntoane High School in Soweto, one of the schools whose learners participated in the historic June 16 march 40 years ago.

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

Read more on:    soweto  |  youth  |  youth day  |  soweto40

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