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Statistics that STATS SA has been releasing should be like new laid eggs waiting to receive incubation. That is when the statistics can hatch and produce something that can live and grow. The ruling party, however, has been allowing these “eggs” to become sterile. The statistics are published but never fully consumed and acted on.

A COPE led government would have assembled South Africa’s brightest minds to look at the latest General Household Survey of 2015, released by STATS SA. In particular we would have wanted to understand why so few black and coloured students, aged 18 to 29, were enrolled in institutions of higher learning. The fact that only a miniscule 3.1% of black South Africans and an equally small 3.7% of coloured students were registered was a problem needing immediate attention. By contrast, 14.3% of Indian/Asian South Africans and 15.7% white South Africans of the same age group were pursuing university studies. This imbalance cannot in good conscience continue unaddressed.

According to Statistician-General Pali Lehohla, South Africa should be producing at least 200 000 black graduates per year. Although higher number of black students were registered at higher learning institutions‚ there was a decline in the number of those who were graduating. Again, this needs to be remedied urgently.

The present situation cannot be tolerated if we want to achieve a reconciled and stable South Africa.

Congress of the People would have assembled our country’s brightest minds to come up with a solution. Additionally we would have, as a government, placed huge emphasis on correcting the enormous vocabulary deficit that many of our students are manifesting. We would also have done a great deal more to attract a lot more black students to mathematics through having it taught in a refreshing and attractive manner.

A vocabulary deficit is a huge impediment to learning. It is only when we recognise this as a key and grave problem, will we as a nation begin to make progress in education. If we admit the deficit, the black youth of our country will benefit. If we don’t, the tragedy will intensify and the future will be made uncertain not only for black youth but for all of us.

COPE urges the ruling party to address this educational tragedy.

Issued by COPE

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