President Jacob Zuma said Government ought to prioritize education. He was speaking at the opening of to the Basic Education Sector Lekgotla held at the Saint George Hotel, Pretoria on 24 January 2017.
The biannual NEC meeting aimed to identify urgent priorities requiring attention and to guide the work of government officials in the year ahead. In his speech, President Zuma said education is the ladder out of poverty and economic stagnation.
“Education is our primary weapon in the struggle for economic transformation and in the quest for a better life for our people, especially the poor. It is for this reason that education gets the biggest slice of the national budget,” explained President Zuma.
He said government has now completed over 135 new state-of-the-art schools in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and other provinces.
“We have also provided dignified sanitation, water and electricity to hundreds more schools,” he said.
In the effort to fight hunger and poverty, over nine million school children both from primary and secondary school are part of the school nutrition programmes. The programme now reaches over nine million children every school day, who are provided with food to improve concentration and productivity.
President Zuma advised teachers and community to support children and help them fight the abuse of drugs or other social challenges, “we need to tackle them together, we must keep our youth in school,” he said.
He urged all sectors of society to play their meaningful role to keep the youth in school and said this should be the important aspect of the 2017 Basic Education Sector Lekgotla.