Youth must get serious

South Africa's youth face a bleak future unless they take their education seriously.

South Africa's youth face a bleak future unless they take their education seriously.

This is the warning from Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, speaking at the Historic Schools Restoration Project in Limpopo last week.

Notable challenges facing the youth are the still-high school dropout rate, caused by such factors as poverty, broken families, substance abuse, HIV-Aids and the high rate of schoolgirl pregnancies.

Ndungane's caution must also be directed at parents, who should heed the warning and start cracking the whip to help teachers instil discipline at schools.

It's a fact that teachers at many schools countrywide have lost control over pupils who seldom even attend classes with ambitious lifelong plans.

An eerie dimension is that teachers themselves have been feeling the effects of stress. This is because they can no longer cope with the range of problems in classrooms, including bad working conditions and unruly and violent pupils.

With the much-needed intervention of institutions such as the Youth Commission not forthcoming, the situation will only worsen in the coming years as the notion of the lost generations revisits society.

The ball, however, is in the youth's court. They either heed the warnings or become a doomed section of society.

X