School leavers in South Africa are forging their certificates in order to have a better chance of finding employment when they leave school. The statistics are not pretty. Only 25% of school leavers will find employment in the formal sector. This means that 75% of people leaving school will not find work! So what do they do? Well many of these unfortunate people end up having to, out of necessity, start their own businesses.
When one considers that my domestic worker who is 27 years old, unmarried and mother of two, has not been able to find any permanent work for 9 years. She has worked on a contract basis, on a seasonal demand basis, for a company that manufactures calendars. She has been employed for 3 months out of 12. The rest of the year she has no work. So the one day we are able to employ her a week, helps in a tiny way to alleviate her rather impossible situation.
In addition to this, the education system that existed when she wrote her final exams in 1998, had very little or no relevance to her challenges that would face her in later life after school. Since then, the Department of Education has tried to address the lack of relevance in education through introducing Outcomes Based Education and specifically courses such as Economics and Management Sciences (EMS). EMS is aimed at trying to equip learners with relevant skills they so desperately need in life after school. This assumes that firstly teachers have the time, training and inclination to effectively impart this knowledge onto their learners and secondly, that the EMS curriculum is relevant to the demands facing them when they enter 'the real world'. It is a long road before this situation is rectified. Don't believe me? Ask the minister of education Naledi Pandor. She will tell you that she could do with all the help she can get.
Yes we need to create jobs, but this is not going to happen over night. This will take years to happen. We need another solution for the short to medium term. The fact is, it's not so much about school leavers finding a job, but rather they need to create their own! They need a relevant education system that allows them to look after themselves as they leave the safe schoolyard walls and empowers them to cope with the harsh realities of life in the 'real world'! There has to be a better way, a different way, a way that works!
We have to find a better way. The Status Quo is just not working! For those who are interested in helping us turn the old order upside down, shake it all around and come up with a relevant approach, a novel approach an innovative approach that works, one where we somehow can find a 'different way', then please visit my website on ka-chingworld.com and let me know how together we can do this.
Gregory Bunyard is the co-author and founder of the Ka-Ching! Business Parenting course. Bunyard studied for his BCom at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa where he majored in Business Administration and Industrial Psychology and thereafter obtained an MBA from the Edinburgh Business School in Scotland. He has worked in Johannesburg, London and in the USA and has travelled the world. He is very much an entrepreneur himself - currently consulting to business owners.