statement by Deputy-National Secretary

The UDM congratulates successful 1998 Matric Candidates from Gauteng and the North West. Though it is encouraging that in both these provinces the pass rate improved, it is still not a satisfactory result. With more than 40% of candidates not passing, it is clear that major problems still exist. The North West particularly was plagued with a lack of handbooks and other problems in the Department of Education.

Education is the most important tool that we can equip the youth of our country with. It requires commitment, diligence, sacrifice and hard work from not only the learners but also from teachers, parents and the community. Though education is a basic right it comes with responsibility.

The UDM urges the Department of Education to make sure that in 1999 all of the necessary elements would be in place so that a proper learning environment can be achieved. This clearly means that the basics must be done right.

Education without the opportunity of employment is not enough. The UDM would urge government to look at the development of entrepreneurial skills at school level so that more pupils can become self-employed and self-sufficient in the ever-decreasing South African employment market.