Javed Malik
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world, said Nelson Mandela. As envisioned by our late and world acclaimed icon Mandela, this is what we need for South Africa's youth to envision themselves and aspire to a much higher level.

Accompanying this remarkable quote should be three highly essential requirements of finance, job-creation and healthcare for all.

I am in favour of free education, but high standards should be followed. My view is that some standards of higher education in South Africa should be upgraded now, as it seems the country still maintains an education system stuck in old ways.

Get me right here! I am not saying the current educational system is bad, but there are some things that can be changed, like moving from concentrating too much on theoretical subjects at high school and replacing them with industry-applicable foundation courses in technical subjects, like technicians in plumbing, engineering and mechanics.

I am advocating an educational system that sets a cut-off limit to education at high school and then at the same level introduces technical subjects as a foundation.

The technical job industry is looking for skilled young people who are ready-made to take up the above-mentioned jobs.

In a broader sense, it is through such a thorough technical foundation that South Africa will be able to create a broad base of entrepreneurs across the length and breadth of the country.

This approach will allow for most of our youth to be readily employable after high school, as the various industries will find their technical subjects useful compared to what is mostly happening right now.

Finance

A major setback to the opening up of jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities is scarce finances for most young people.

True, the government is doing all it can through financial organisations like the Department of Trade and Industry, the Industrial Development Corporation and the National Youth Development Agency, but these in my view are not enough to cater for the entire country’s needs.

These finance institutions need to open up more to our youth while giving awareness of what products are available.

I think finance houses don’t necessarily need to give benefits, but rather they should give more choice in opportunities to new young entrepreneurs.

Read also: Online universities for free education

Traditional financial institutions who propped up established businesses should understand that the appropriate way to open up a better future is through the support of the people that were previously seen as risky, yet most may have business projects worthy of support.

Health

A healthy nation is a great foundation for a vigorous workforce. Generally, South Africa’s health system is good as it services many people with high professional standards.

We have to upgrade technology and manpower must be retrained to treat patients with dignity, respect and humility.

Jobs

A properly educated, healthy and well financed majority can be the foundation to offer the much needed jobs for its young majority population.

These form the basis for a bright future.

Javed Malik is a former Skywise Airlines co-chairperson.

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