Pretoria – The future prosperity and well-being of a country and its citizens depends on how well it educates its children, says Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.
Gigaba was addressing a gathering commemorating the 35th anniversary of National Youth Day at Denel Dynamics on Tuesday. The company is a division of Denel, and its core business covers tactical missiles, precision-guided weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Gigaba said the country’s success depended on the next generation of innovation in areas like healthcare, education and human settlements.
The minister said concerted effort needed to be made in improving participation and results in science, mathematics and technology, adding that children in both urban and rural schools must have the same access to these subjects.
“However, this challenge is compounded by the fact that such schools do not have adequate teachers, a supportive and encouraging environment, enriching opportunities or adequate financial resources. As long as such gaps exist, students from those schools will struggle when and if they enter college. It will take enormous resources and time to achieve the required parity,” explained the minister.
Gigaba said youth unemployment remained a serious challenge facing South Africa. “Too few jobs are being created to absorb the large numbers of new entrants to the labour market.”
However, he commended Denel for its efforts to create jobs.
“Against the backdrop of national growth and development, every one job in Denel Dynamics creates an additional four jobs [in] the South African economy. We need more of the same as we need to keep our engineers in this country. This level of job creation makes a healthy contribution to providing a high-tech work pool where there is a skills shortage,” said Gigaba.
South Africa will mark Youth Day on Thursday in recognition of the brave youth, who on 16 June 1976, stood up against the apartheid government’s Bantu education laws. – BuaNews