Former president Jacob Zuma said a nation that was not educated and empowered could not walk proudly among other nations.
Image: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Former president Jacob Zuma has encouraged students to be job creators rather than jobs seekers.

Zuma made the comment while delivering an education lecture at Walter Sisulu University’s Mthatha campus on Wednesday afternoon.

"We cannot be educated to be only workers‚ but we should also be educated to be creators of work. We should be so educated that we don’t sit at home when there is no work‚ but we should be able to create jobs ourselves. That is what we are looking for. That challenges our understanding of freedom and democracy‚” he said.

Zuma said a nation that was not educated and empowered could not walk proudly among other nations.

"When our results were a subject of criticism‚ it was very difficult to move among other nations. Even the nations that we thought were weaker than us produced better results. I’m happy that the situation has changed‚” he said.

Zuma also took a swipe at the institutions of higher learning for depriving students from poor families of the chance to be educated.

“Many children from poor families and working class households have struggled to gain entry into universities because their parents could not pay the fees. So if you come from a poor family you are condemned forever‚ to remain an inferior person‚” he said.

The former president said so many young people had been expelled from universities because they could not pay‚ while others had to pick up demeaning jobs to obtain money to further their studies.

“Some universities have decided to withhold the results of students who could not afford to pay; that is destroying many futures of individuals. They [universities] are not worried about the contribution the student would make in developing the country‚” he said.

- DispatchLIVE