Have we let the class of 76 and other South Africans down?

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    Des Squire

    It was so refreshing to read in The Star last night the article by Dr. Mamphela Ramphele entitled “We are letting the class of 76 down” – I would however change the title to “we have let the class of 76 down and many more South Africans also”.

    The problems that exist in our country are not only in the area of education as the Doctor is aware and it is not only the youth from 1976 who have been let down. (I do understand the Doctor was focused on Education, so no, I am not being critical of her article) Dr Ramphele is 100% correct in everything she says related to the youth and education in particular.

    The ideals of the youth of 76 who sparked the revolution that led to freedom have and are continually being systematically betrayed as pointed out by Dr Ramphele. These however are the very people who should now be saying enough is enough. We have been betrayed by our leaders, we have been betrayed by our liberators, we have been let down by our government – so its time for change.

    As Dr Ramphle points out the problem has to do with the inability of the ruling party and Government to lead, manage and govern. The education system is in a shambles and there is no “VISION” or “SPECIFIC” plan of action to remedy the situation. We hear many promises but see no action. If Dr Ramphle is deemed to be wrong then I challenge the Government and Dr Nzimande to outline in specific detail
    What exactly the plan of action is to ensure all schools are properly equipped, re built, renovated or whatever by December 2013 latest?
    What specifically he is doing about the under trained teachers and teachers who fail to arrive at school?
    What he specifically intends doing about schools without teachers and text books in the Eastern Cape
    What exactly he intends doing about teachers who want to strike and thereby deny our children an education?
    What exactly he intends doing about learners who thrash and wreck the very schools they depend on for their education?

    Action needs to be taken and must be taken NOW – not by 2015 or 2020. Where is the responsibility and accountability?

    Past President Nelson Mandela and the ANC had dreams and a vision for South Africa but this vision has long since been forgotten as a result of greed and self empowerment. The youth of South Africa had hope which has been taken away. Their dreams and aspirations have been shattered and they are on the verge of despair.

    Dr Ramphele sees a change and “a growing movement of young people who are taking ownership of their country and leading their future’s shaping” – they are working together for a better tomorrow. In addition she points out that adults need to change their attitude to leadership in order to enable our youth to realize their potential. Our youth should be seen as the INNOVATIVE generation and not the lost generation. Change is called for and as in so many countries of the world change can only take place by the removal of leaders who are not performing or are incapable of leading.

    This is no longer a racial situation, this is no longer historic or a previous situation. This is real and is in the now. Let’s stop blaming the past, let’s take the blinkers off and let’s face the reality that the problems we have in our education system exist today and must be dealt with today by the leaders of today. As Dr Ramphele says now is the time to “be honest, to link hands and to reconnect eyeball to eyeball and discuss the failures of the past 18 years”. We need to work together, today to address the problems of today. Yes we have the capacity for greatness but see very little of it in the current leadership of our country. Now is the time for change – now is the time to rise to our responsibilities as citizens.

    Des Squire (Managing member)

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    Wilma de Villiers

    Well-expressed and said, Des. Blacks blame apartheid, whites blame the current government .. as you’ve said, it is the time to rise to our responsibilities as citizens.

    Dr Ramphele is a great man to say that it is the time to be ‘honest… and to discuss the failures of the past.  We must no longer make it a racial issue.  We are South Africans and should stand together.

    Des Squire

    Thank you for the response Wilma. I really hope we get some comment from others as this is a very important topic today. Watch the star for the next three episoed of Education focus on Mondays.

    Yes we are all South African and must stand together – now is the time for some serious thinking and decisions.

    Tass Schwab

    Just something to add to this discussion too, its not entirely up to the leaders… its the learners that too should pave their own ways. Yes, as adults and an leaders in schools tools should be given. But these words of from a judge that deals with youth ring true. Very strong words I know, we all know that people who do this get ahead somehow


    Amen and amen!

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One thought on “Have we let the class of 76 and other South Africans down?

  • Marianna Bibbey

    these very concerns were what drove the Services Seta to run research teams to various countries and look at new models to intervene on the Basic educational level as to improve the pool of learners that exit GET! into the FET… We as providers struggle and universities and technikons and FETs struggle with BRIDGING courses to accomodate learners with poor foundational education levels. The Services Seta trhough Ivor Blumethal have embarked on a few projects that they will be implementing into schools in liasison with the department of Education – to run Pilots and measure the impact and results… The Setas wants to be pro-active in this regards but are also limited in funding and in participation from higher levels… I do however hope that these projects will open the eyes of many and instead of trying to channel moneys into dead horses – they would channel MORE funds to the Setas that does these ground breaking work!

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