Julius Malema answers some questions on EFF contesting in the 2014 elections. He was speaking at a press brief held at Braamfontein on Thursday. Picture: Timothy Bernard 09.01.2014

Johannesburg - Pupils must persevere with their education to break the cycle of poverty, the Economic Freedom Fighters said on Wednesday as the 2014 school year got underway.

“This is particularly directed at grade ones who will start on an expected 12 years (sic) journey in the country's twentieth year of democracy with the hope for a better and improved education,” spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement.

The party encouraged the youth, particularly those living in poverty, to resist the temptation to drop out of school.

“The sustainable way to change the harsh living conditions they face rests in becoming educated, which builds both... intellect and character,” Ndlozi said.

The EFF called on government to ensure that all the study material was delivered on time.

“Above all, government must ensure no one is excluded from school because they cannot pay fees or because they do not have school uniform.” - Sapa