Education crisis is nation's failure

2013-09-09 12:27

On Tuesday the 27th of August, the Walter Sisulu University was closed down. In an urgent notice to students, an administrator at the university announced that due to a labour impasse the university would be closed indefinitely, threatening the future of thousands of students.

There is a crisis looming in South Africa, and it stems from our inability to emphasize and affirm the importance of education to the world, but most importantly to the very youth we expect to acquire the knowledge offered.

The closure of the WSU following a strike by university employees, during which students were not attending nor receiving education and training is a reflection of our weakness and failure as a nation to recognize and respond with urgency to our society’s desperate need to empower and capacitate young people.

The central point on which our failure rests is quite visible. If in a democracy where education serves as a pillar and a primary source of hope to those from families living in abject poverty and grave despair, lays the possibility of an institution which carries the hopes and aspirations of thousands of young people bringing its responsibilities to an end, then unfortunately, the society in which it serves has too big a blind eye and a great deal of tolerance for mediocrity.

There seems to be a fractured idea around what should be, by virtue of the legacy of our shameful past, a philosophical common sense of shared values, beliefs and desires with regard to how we perceive education, as well as the standard we ought to afford it. Each one of us must view oneself as having a responsibility to assert and acknowledge education first as a tool with which they can liberate themselves from the shackles of poverty, and secondly, as a medium through which they can communicate and bring about development where it seizes to exist. This view, however, is and will remain alien to the minds of those who are constantly denied a proper and quality education.

The passive response of government and civil society to the continuing crisis on education is in itself, a representation of the long way the African student still has to go to receive a quality education that is not only socially and economically viable, but immune to circumstantial problems. There needs to be a discourse, not only on the role of education in the life of an individual human being and society, but on the kind of leadership required to ensure that education is awarded priority status, a status far beyond verbal utterances and detailed documents.

It has to be through action by government and active participation on the part of the citizen. No more must it be reported that learners are without study material, or that an institution of higher learning is closing after weeks of not being in operation. Such is as much a crime and an insult to the nation as is the landing of the Gupta private jet at the Waterkloof Air Base, and it ought to be treated as an issue far more important.


AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.