YOUTH HAVE NO HOPE UNLESS WE SPEAK UP: STEVENSON

The editorial and Lawrence Troon’s letter in The Herald on March 23, on the DA Human Rights Day march refer. There is nothing opportunistic on a day as important as Human Rights Day as standing up for pupils’ rights to a decent education.

It is the foundation of opportunity in life and your passport to a decent job, which in turn provides one with the opportunity to escape the poverty trap.

Millions of our pupils face the fate of becoming another lost generation unless people stand up for their rights.

Lawrence Troon’s assertion only 63 people took part in the march is another blatant untruth from his quarter, that The Herald is fond of publishing.

The truth of the matter is that in the poorest 20% of schools in the Western Cape – township schools – the Grade 12 pass rate increased from 57% to 70%, passion of Zille’s and is the central plank of the DA’S poverty-beating platform where we govern.

The appalling and still declining state of public education in the Eastern Cape is robbing millions of young South Africans of the opportunity to while the Eastern Cape went backwards. This is because the DA implements policies that improve education.

This includes holding principals accountable for outcomes, bringing inspectors back into the classroom and barring civil servants doing business with the province.

Why does Sadtu not support these policies? Why does the provincial government in the Eastern Cape not adopt them?

The answer is very simple, the rights of the better their lives.

This is a very real human rights scandal in South Africa, and it deserves as much attention, censure and pressure for action as possible.

That residents of Port Elizabeth are concerned about the problem is clear – that is why unions are placed above the rights of our learners. This is what the Human Rights Day march led by Helen Zille highlighted, which does not mean we do not recognise the hard work done by many teachers and organisations to bring about change to a dysfunctional system.

We don’t need to change the constitution to improve education in the Eastern Cape – just the government.