Letters to the editor
Future for matrics lies in a technical education
More than 500,000 youths received their results this week amid much joy and jubilation, but what happens after that is the question that we should be asking.
Only a small percentage will qualify for places in tertiary institutions offering courses that will enable them to find work. A slightly larger percentage will do useless, expensive courses just because of the myth that you need a degree to be of value.
Sadly, this group of students will be no better off than the majority that will not qualify to enter a tertiary institution. They will join the unhappy lot of unemployed, frustrated youth.
This issue of growing unemployment among matriculated youth and even among graduates has been raised several times in the past but nothing tangible has been done about it.
I suspect nothing is done about it because the status quo serves a number of vested interests. One is that tertiary institutions make big money offering courses even though many of these courses do not equip their graduates adequately for the job market. Another is that the current education system monotonously doles out the same stuff year after year, which will be of no relevance in the 4th industrial revolution.
The answer, it seems, would be to radically change the education system from grade 8 by teaching pupils subjects that will equip them to enter the job market at any time during their high school career. The majority of our mainstream schools should be converted into technical schools because that is where the future lies, not in academic institutions.
Subjects should include computer literacy, business skills, entrepreneurship and speaking and communicating skills, with the emphasis on simplicity.
It will take great courage to change the current system of education to give our youth more hope for the future. - Ellapen Rapiti, Cape Town
WE NEED ACTION, NOT RHETORIC
The ANC's January 8 statement is supposed to be the key to the governing party's programme of action for the year ahead. Past statements under former president Jacob Zuma turned out to be a mumbo jumbo of distortion. With President Cyril Ramaphosa at the helm we expect a more serious and determined pronouncement this year, which is an election year.
He has to show clearly how he is going shape SA's fortunes and dig us out of the hole we are in.
To Ramaphosa's credit, he has been cleaning up the deep mess he inherited from Zuma. Shaun the sheep has gone, Tom Moyane - Sars destroyer-in-chief - has gone. The Nugent commission did a wonderful job and the Zondo commission lumbers on, exposing state capture.
The Hawks have found their purpose with a new zeal. A new NPA head takes over in February. There is hope!
All Ramaphosa has to do is show the citizens a clean hand, be decisive, throw out the miscreants in his cabinet and stick to his action plan as he sets it out in his January 8 statement. The country needs action, not mindless ANC rhetoric. - Paks Pakiriy, Durban North
DA IN A MARKETING CUL-DE-SAC
A salesman who berates his customers for not buying his product is a serious marketing problem. When this behaviour becomes the chorus from the sales force, that's a strong indication the product itself is the problem.
And so it is now with commentary from former DA leader Tony Leon and the rising tide of panic in the DA at the realisation that their hitherto taken-for-granted sheeple could use their parliamentary vote to strategically bolster a stronger Ramaphosa-led ANC in parliament at the DA's expense.
DA leaders have only themselves to blame for landing themselves in this marketing cul-de-sac.
The DA lacks a commanding vision that is visibly more exciting, more tangible, and more compelling to the wider electorate than its competitors.
This has been the DA problem for years, and will be until it accepts that change in a political environment depends totally on the energetic deployment of bold, imaginative policies propelled by charisma, vision, excitement, and hope. Who votes for a party whose most prized talent is hand-wringing? Not me! - John Godsiff, Clovelly
PETER BRUCE'S BLOND MOMENT
Peter Bruce has been my media hero for decades. He is in a league of his own so I hope he will accept my criticism. I simply cannot understand his constant criticism of the DA while he allows Cyril Ramaphosa so much leeway.
I agree the DA has many flaws, including some weak leadership, but to use Peter's own terminology, it is far and away SA's least worst political party. It has proven that it can capably run cities and provinces efficiently and mostly honestly.
The ANC, on the other hand, has bankrupted the country. Ramaphosa himself may well be a good person but there has been no indication that he is willing or able to lead SA out of the economic mire. Joblessness and poverty seem set to grow. Worst of all is his unwillingness to speak out forcefully against racial incitement. He has been unconvincing about the peaceful implementation of land expropriation without compensation.
My high regard for Peter's intellect, media skills and fine character make me nervous to say this but I believe he is having a blond moment. - David Wolpert, Rivonia