President Cyril Ramaphosa greets the crowd in Butterworth, Eastern Cape. Picture: Supplied

Butterworth - President Cyril Ramaphosa told parents in the Eastern Cape on Friday that they should not accept excuses when their children wanted to drop out of school. 

Ramaphosa was speaking to thousands of African National Congress (ANC) supporters at the Umsobomvu Sports Grounds in Butterworth.  

He said that during his ANC door-to-door campaigning for the May 8 general election, he had encountered many young people who dropped out of school because they had "issues" with teachers.

"When you ask them why they dropped out, they will say 'my teacher didn't like me'. Parents must not allow their children to drop out because of an attitude towards teachers," he said.

"We want to reduce school dropouts and we are opening technical schools to equip learners with job market related skills," said Ramaphosa.

He was not pleased with the current performance of schools in the province, he said. 

The Eastern Cape was once "the reservoir of education" in the country's history, he said. 

"We are going to prioritise the rural schools for the roll-out of tablets because rural people are always the last to receive new inventions, but now we are changing that. We are going to start with the rural schools in order to have equalisation between rural and urban learners," said Ramaphosa.

Government was also committed to revitalising ageing school infrastructure, he said. 

Addressing corruption, Ramaphosa reiterated that he was committed to "cleaning-up" the public sector.

"We want to fix things at the national level, provincial level and in our municipalities. [We are doing this through] the works of various commissions of inquiry, like the state capture commission which you've seen on TV.

"I want to see the end of the corruption that we have witnessed in the past so that our municipalities can work efficiently. We want to see the end of embezzlement of funds so that money can be spent on intended purpose," said Ramaphosa. 

The president proceeded to King Williams Town later in the day and was set to campaign throughout the province until Sunday. 

African News Agency (ANA)