'Equip learners with knowledge and skills for a changing world', Ramaphosa tells 2021 Virtual Basic Education Lekgotla

25 February 2021 - 11:07
By Yoliswa Sobuwa
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering a keynote address during the 2021 Virtual Basic Education Sector Lekgotla, held under the theme:
Image: Kopano Tlape/GCIS President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering a keynote address during the 2021 Virtual Basic Education Sector Lekgotla, held under the theme: "Equipping Learners with Knowledge and Skills for a Changing World".

President Cyril Ramaphosa says there is a need to provide young people with quality education that prepares them not just for the challenges of the present, but also for the opportunities of the future.

Ramaphosa was giving a keynote address on Thursday morning at the 2021 Virtual Basic Education Lekgotla.

The Lekgotla is hosted by the department of  basic education to address key challenges facing the sector and to plan for the year in line with the National Development Plan, the Medium Term Strategic Framework of government and the State of the Nation Address.

Ramaphosa paid tribute to teachers who died as a result of Covid-19. He also congratulated the matric class of 2020. The president encouraged those who did not make it this year to take advantage of the opportunities provided through the Second Chance Programme.

“The future of this country is in the hands of our youth. This year’s lekgotla is about equipping learners with knowledge and skills for a changing world. Not only must we adapt to new ways of learning, but our curricula has to respond to the changes in the world of work," Ramaphosa said.

"In addition to having the right content, technologies and a safe learning environment, we must ensure that our young people are grounded in an ethos of learning and industry.” 

He said the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the digital divide in society, particularly with regards to the adoption of technologies for learning and teaching. “It underscores the need to intensify efforts to ensure connectivity and equitable access to data.

"This calls for stronger public-private partnerships to ensure that we mobilise the necessary resources to help our learners,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa said schools must teach the skills that will both support the growth of the economy and enable financial inclusion as one of the key focus areas of the economic reconstruction and recovery plan to boost education and skills development.