It was so refreshing to read the article by Dr Mamphela Ramphele entitled “We are letting the class of 76 down” (The Star Opinion and Analysis, June 20). I would however change the title to “we have let the class of 76 down and many more South Africans also”.
It is not only the youth from 1976 who have been let down.
Ramphele is 100 percent correct in everything she says in relation to the youth and education in particular.
The ideals of the youth of 1976 who sparked the revolution that led to freedom have, and are continually being, systematically betrayed – as pointed out by Ramphele.
These however are the very people who should now be saying enough is enough.
We have been betrayed by our leaders, we have been betrayed by our liberators, we have been let down by our government – so it’s time for change.
As Ramphele points out, the problem has to do with the inability of the ruling party and government to lead, manage and govern. The education system is in a shambles and there is no “vision” or “specific” plan of action to remedy the situation. We hear many promises but see no action.
If Ramphele is deemed to be wrong then I challenge the government and the education minister to outline in specific detail:
l What exactly the plan of action is to ensure that all schools are properly equipped, rebuilt, renovated by December 2013 latest.
l What the government is doing about the under-trained teachers and teachers who fail to arrive at school.
l What it specifically intends to do about schools without teachers and tex books in the Eastern Cape.
l What exactly it intends to do about teachers who want to strike and thereby deny our children an education.
l What exactly it intends to do with pupils who trash and wreck schools.
Action needs to be taken and must be taken now.
Former president Nelson Mandela and the ANC had dreams and a vision for SA but this vision has long since been forgotten as a result of greed.
The youth of SA had hope which has been taken away.
Their dreams and aspirations have been shattered and they are on the verge of despair.
Ramphele sees a change and “a growing movement of young people who are taking ownership of their country and leading their future’s shaping”.
In addition she points out that adults need to change their attitude to leadership in order to enable our youth to realise their potential.
Our youth should be seen as the innovate generation and not the lost generation.
Change is called for and, as in so many countries of the world, change can only take place by the removal of leaders who are not performing or are incapable of leading.
This is no longer a racial situation. This is no longer historic or a previous situation.
This is real and is in the now. Let’s stop blaming the past, let’s take the blinkers off and let’s face the reality that the problems we have in our education system exist today and must be dealt with today by the leaders of today.
As Ramphele says, now is the time to “be honest, to link hands and to reconnect eyeball to eyeball and discuss the failures of the past 18 years”.
We need to work together to address problems.
Yes we have the capacity for greatness but see very little of it in the current leadership of our country.
Now is the time for change – now is the time to rise to our responsibilities as citizens.