BUSINESS TECH / 09 FEBRUARY 2020 - 11.56 / STAFF REPORTER
Government has published its Draft National Youth policy for 2020 – 2030, outlining its plans to get more young South Africans into education and employment opportunities over the next 10 years.
The document states that youth unemployment has reached ‘crisis proportions’ in South Africa and remains one of the major challenges facing the country today.
“South Africa’s unemployment rate is high for both youth and adults; though, the unemployment rate among the youth currently stands at an alarming 56.4% and is considered to be one of the highest globally,” it said.
“Against this background, it is clear that the major contributor to poverty, inequality, and unemployment amongst the youth in South Africa is the low level of educational attainment and skills.
“The latest national data from Stats SA (2018) shows that of the 10.3 million persons aged 15-24 years, 32.4% (approximately 3.3 million) were not in employment, education or training, with females constituting 35.3% and males 29.6%.”
Other statistics that point to a failure in the education system include:
About 52% of 24-year-olds in the country have completed Grade 12, compared to 70% in most developing countries;
A million young people exit the schooling system annually, of whom 65% leave without achieving a Grade 12 certificate;
Half of those who exit the schooling system do so after Grade 11, either because they do not enrol in Grade 12 or they fail Grade 11.
Plans to fix the problem
To address the issues in South Africa’s education sector, the policy document outlines a number of proposals which should be introduced by 2030.
Below BusinessTech outlined the proposals for each sector.
The Department of Basic Education, in partnership with private providers, should support learners who need a ‘second chance’ to pass matric. The Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology should also provide young people who have left school with the opportunity to complete their education to enable them to compete in the open labour market;