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Pretoria - Parents were better skilled than their children, arguably as a result of changes to the education system after 1994, statistician general Pali Lehohla said on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters in Pretoria upon the release of Statistics SA's 2013 General Household Survey, Lehohla said those younger than 35 did not have the skills of their parents.
“What we know is that the nursing schools, the teacher training schools, and where people used to do trades, (those) schools were closed, and they were converted into part of the university system,” he said.
“The net result has been they, those who are 15 to 34, do not have the skills of their parents, so hence the skills crisis, in part, in the country.”
He said those 35 and older, between 1994 and 2014, had increased their skills proportionally in comparison to people aged between 15 and 34.
“Education is one weakness we have in South Africa and the economic problems we are facing in South Africa is (in part) as a consequence of a low-skilled workforce,” Lehohla said.
According to the survey, only 3.2 percent of blacks between the ages of 18 and 29 attended university in 2013, while 3.1 percent of coloureds in the same demographic attended university.
The figures were higher with Indians and Asians, at 9.2 percent. White attendance in the same age group was 18.7 percent.
In 2002, using the same age group, 2.8 percent of blacks attended university, while 3.4 percent of coloureds, 12.7 percent of Indians and Asians, and 15.6 percent of whites attended university.
Lehohla said while the numbers of blacks attending university had increased, the current levels of attendance were too small.
He said black attendance ideally needed to match the levels of white attendance.
The survey sampled 25 786 households countrywide. It covers areas such as education, sanitation, health, religion, housing, transport and access to food.