South Africa should invest more in early childhood development in order to achieve better learning performance outcomes at later stages of development and skills acquisition, deputy president David Mabuza said on Thursday.
Mabuza told a summit on human resource development that the country had a youth population whose prospects for employment were undermined by lack of education and requisite skills.
Official data shows the country has a high unemployment rate of about 27 percent of the labour force, and that this figure is even higher at more than 50 percent among young people.
“Over the years, a combination of the sub-optimal performance of our education system and other socio-economic determinants of poverty have produced a large proportion of unemployed youth,” Mabuza said.
“This summit must inspire hope and confidence in the millions of young people who are not in education and training that we are a country that never gives up on their dreams and potential.”
He urged the government, business, labour, and communities to work together in creating employment and training opportunities for the millions of young people not in education, training or in employment.
“Our children at our institutions of higher education, must have the confidence that they will not complete their training only to roam the streets for years before they can get employed or start their own enterprises,” Mabuza said.
He noted that a number of local business leaders and their companies were actively involved in adopting schools and investing in training teachers in critical subjects like mathematics and science.
“We call on many more business leaders to make it their business to adequately skill our young people at educational institutions and at the work place through internships,” he added.
– African News Agency (ANA)