Solidarity Youth came to the shocking realisation that Gauteng will have as many as 173 fewer functional schools in 2021 than in 2017; that is despite the fact that there are annually 2.5% more children of school-going age. According to Solidarity, Panyaza Lesufi, the MEC for Education in Gauteng, is wasting his time by fighting with interested or affected parties and placing blame on Afrikaans instead of maintaining existing schools and building sufficient new schools.
“It is widely known that well-trained people and people with more skills and knowledge get jobs easier and occupy more permanent positions within the workforce. It is therefore crucial that the government sharpens its focus on education and more specifically the building of schools and support of current schools, so that children can receive quality education that will enable them to have successful careers,” says Paul Maritz , Manager of Solidarity Youth .
This failure of the government results in increasing pressure on functional schools and affects the quality of education that learners receive. The implication of this is disastrous for learning skills and gaining much-needed knowledge that will enable learners to further their studies or enter the labour market.
“Currently, there are an astonishing 45% of young people who are not in education, employment, or training (NEET). This means that almost half of South Africa’s young people have no job and that few, if any, have received formal training. The consequence is that they are probably doomed to a life of poverty. A country has no future under such circumstances. Any ‘recovery plan’ is doomed without functional schools for our youth,” Maritz claims .
In contrast to the government’s nonchalant attitude towards education and the development of knowledge and skills, Solidarity mentioned − during the lauch of their Work Recovery Programme − that a number of programmes exist focusing on career development that empower and equip young people to enter into and succeed in the labour market.
“It is astonishing to think that government will not do everything in its power to help young people getting a proper education. Solidarity’s programmes have been developed in such a way as to make the labour market more accessible to those leaving school, despite the fact that the government is failing to fulfill its responsibility towards those young people and their future, ” Maritz concludes.