President Jacob Zuma said 2018 would mark the beginning of a massive skills revolution in South Africa, following the announcement of plans to implement no-fee education for children from poor families.
There are naturally questions over how to fund this programme, but Zuma insists that this will not deter government from expanding access to education in the country. Zuma said most of the government’s goals at primary level had been achieved.
However, the major stumbling block and impediment to success remains that of tertiary education.
“More than nine million children attend no fee schools, which represents at least 80 percent of our schools,” said Zuma on Sunday.
“We will continue to eliminate mud schools and inappropriate school structures, replacing them with state-of-the-art buildings, especially in rural areas and other neglected communities,” added Zuma, highlighting some of the achievements at grassroots level.
He acknowledged that the focus on tertiary education now needed to intensify.
“We announced the provision of free higher education for young people at universities and colleges who come from poor households earlier this month. The intervention must be the beginning of a skills revolution in our country, in pursuit of the radical socio-economic transformation programme.”