Youth of the Nation?

There’s been plenty about the education system in the press this year. Whether the headlines have been about the lack of textbooks in Limpopo, Helen Zille closing down schools in the Western Cape or the lack of electricity in schools, everything has been receiving the publicity its required. Good or bad, the public has been enlightened on a list of different problems.

But what about the problems that are not receiving any attention? Now, I’m not going to even pretend that I notice everything that happens in this country. One issue came to light a little while ago. My younger sister started her degree in social work at the University of Stellenbosch this year. Just as well, as she happens to be more perceptive than I am. Part of her course has a practical component, where the students head out to different areas of the community. My sister was placed into the group that heads out to Kayamandi High School to work with the matriculates. One of the days they headed to the high school, only to find that their session for the day would have to be cancelled because there was a strike underway.
Look, back when I was in high school there were always a few strikes that the teachers got involved in to increase their pay. The strikes always seemed to be well planned and done through the proper channels. They would even declare national teacher’s days to strike. There’s just a few differences between the old strikes I remember and the one my sister witnessed. Firstly, the latter wasn’t planned or legal. And secondly, it was the matric students that were striking, not the teachers.
I’ll be honest, I am rather concerned about a bunch of students who would strike against taking their matric exams. This country constantly complains about our apartheid history and the injustices that happened in that time. One of the big inequalities was the distribution education. Now, in a school that has textbook, has electricity and is not under threat of being closed down, there are learners that are fighting against education, against having the opportunity to free themselves from the circumstances they find themselves in.My main question, is if these kids are really our youth of the nation, and our futures of tomorrow.
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