“The students of 1976 died fighting against inferior education, and it [education] is worse today,” she told students at the University of the Witwatersrand. “I never thought I would ever say that, but it is worse.”
She said the biggest crime committed by government since 1994, was its role in destroying the quality of education.
“The irony is that the people who ignited the struggle for freedom in 1976 were protesting against poor education,” Ramphele said.
“If they were to come back today they wouldn’t believe it that what they had and what they were protesting [against] is much better than what our children in 80 percent of the schools get.”
Ramphele was later asked by one of the students why, if this was the case, were there more graduates since 1994.
She defended her comments by asking the student to read a recent report on global competitiveness.
“We are dead last… in our performance in education. We spend the largest proportion of government expenditure on education than any other country, with the worst outcome,” she said.
“Yes, we have three times more graduates, but the quality thereof is why people are unemployed.”