According to reports, 2008 matric results are looking good considering this is the first examination for the new National Curriculum Statement. But let us consider the following questions.
What will happen to those who have passed? Can they be absorbed into the workplace? Under current market and economic conditions it is unlikely. So further education is key. We also need to encourage those who failed not to give up.
Can they be enrolled in institutions of higher learning? Only 20,2percent have minimum university requirements. Is that enough?
Do they know what career to pursue? If they do know, the choice will have little impact on the serious skills-shortage dilemma in South Africa.
Do they have funds to pursue their studies further? No. Tertiary education is not affordable to the poor. Unfortunately most of them are blacks from rural and township communities.
University students are not immune to the challenge of funds. Their results were withheld because of unpaid funds. Strikes are likely to erupt because of academic exclusions of students.
The government is working towards the implementation of a free education policy at all levels but I urge private sector and civil society organisations to join hands with the government to make higher education accessible to everyone.
Richard Rambiyana, Masisi