Newspaper clipping – iafrica.com news – 4 August 2010
“Education equals economy”
Education will solve poverty, unemployment and growing inequalities in South Africa, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said on Tuesday.
It enabled people to break the chain of poverty and contribute to the economy.
The Freedom Charter stated that basic education would be free and compulsory for all children.
Mantashe said although there was universal access to basic education, its quality and content differed.
Mantashe said it was “very sad” that some universities tested students on skills such as computer literacy before admitting them, when most children from rural areas had never seen a computer.
Failure or success was a choice in South Africa, he said.
About 68 percent of South African schools were “no fee” schools.
Mantashe said technical and agricultural colleges were important for the country’s education system. There were plans to reopen and upgrade agricultural colleges to help rural children gain education because “people, including farmers, must be skilled at all levels”.
The JB Marks Education Trust, named after John Beaver Marks who was president of the African Mineworkers Union, provided study fees for members and dependants of the National Union of Mineworkers. It was established by NUM in 1997 and sought to address the need for black graduates in the mining, energy and construction sectors, said union spokesman Lesiba Seshoka. - Sapa