|18. July 2012
Education Problems unacceptable - Tutu
Children without schoolbooks in the third term and classes under trees are unacceptable South African problems, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said on Wednesday. "People going to bed hungry are (also) unacceptable," Tutu told students taking part in a dialogue at a global leadership summit.
He criticised the 30 percent benchmark to pass for South African school pupils, after 18 years of democracy. "This is why we still struggle, maybe," he said, adding people should not have gone to jail and died for such results.
Tutu urged the students not to allow people to spoil South Africa. "This is your country."
Referring to these issues in remembrance of Nelson Mandela's birthday, Tutu said he was sure the former president was not entirely aware of the education situation in SA. "If he knew what was happening he would be crying... it's totally unacceptable."
Tutu said there was no reason why these problems, including people staying in shacks, should still plague the country. These issues were not mentioned with the aim of cutting people down, but he hoped it would inspire leaders to do things right. "We hope to inspire them to do things we hoped would characterise the new South Africa."
Later, at a Mandela Day occasion at the University of the Free State, Tutu told students there was nothing stopping them from becoming the next Madiba. "You have the capacity to be a life changer," he told cheering students.