The Free State provincial government’s service delivery strategy, Operation Hlasela boosted the morale of 2 013 matriculants when Premier Ace Magashule, together with some members of his executive council, met with grade 12 learners from seven schools at the Phuthaditjhaba Hall in QwaQwa.
Magashule told learners of KgolaThuto, Manthatisi, Shakgane, Mohaladitwe, Makabelane, Selelekela and Mohato Secondary Schools that the country’s future depends on the youth of today. He said if the youth does not take education seriously, South Africa will face even more problems than it had during the apartheid years.
He advised learners to stop focusing on having fun and impressing their friends and rather focus on their education.
“Study as hard as you can while you still have a chance to do so and stop playing around. We are only trying to show you the importance of education that you seem not to take serious. Matric is nothing today and if you think you will find work anywhere with a matric certificate then you must think again,” said Magashule.
The premier lashed out at learners who do not respect their teachers at school and their parents at home.
“It is sad to witness how disrespecting our youth is. However, parents should also not expect educators to teach their children respect while they do nothing at home because discipline starts at home,” added Magashule.
The MEC for social development, Sisi Ntombela, told learners that the provincial government is investing heavily in education and is expecting results.
“We came here today to inform you what we expect from you. The ‘class of today’ enjoy a privilege of having everything they need without lifting a hand.
“Unlike us, we had to go through difficult times and force our way to where we are today through difficult circumstances. Now we don’t want you to go through what we went, hence we are helping you not to buy books or pay school fees. But we need your brains so that you can study and be educated,” said Ntombela.
She reminded the learners that they have to work hard to build a better future for themselves.
“You have one chance to change your life and shape your future to a direction of your dreams. Do not think of anything else, not your friends or family but yourself and your future,”
During the department of education’s budget vote earlier this year, the MEC for education, Tate Makgoe, said the department wants to ensure overall improvement of education in the province and achieve 85 percent matric pass rate this year.