By Canisius Mushibwe
With escalating cases of unemployment in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa says the education system should adapt to helping people generate better skills needed for the country.
President Ramaphosa said during a national teaching conference that some young work-seekers are not educated adequately with sufficient skills or work experience needed by employers in the labor market.
“That places a great responsibility on teachers, education officials and indeed on all of us, to ensure that our schools, colleges, universities and other training institutions are producing the skills and capabilities that our country needs,” he said.
In realizing an education sector that will better develop people and equip them with the adequate skill set and knowledge in South Africa, President Ramaphosa recommended that every young child should have access to early childhood development and that the country should strive to reduce the subsequent dropout rate.
He added that the Government needs to prioritize achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The South African leader further said every school-leaver should have the confidence, capabilities, and the opportunities to study further, find employment or gain work experience which will align them with great initiatives that will support them in their endeavors to find pathways into the economy.
According to data released by StatsSA, the number of graduates unemployed is 23.4% points lower than the national official unemployment rate.
However, StatsSA data for the second quarter of the year, also revealed that South Africa’s unemployment rate skyrocketed by 1.8 percentage points to 34.4% compared to the previous quarter.
Youths aged 15-24 years and 25-34 years recorded the highest unemployment rates of 64.4% and 42.9%, while the number of young people between the age of 15-34 years not in employment, education or training was 44.2% in the second quarter.
The data also unveiled that in both quarter two of 2020 and 2021, more than four in every 10 young males and females were not in employment, education, or training.