MATABELELAND South education director Tumisang Thabela has challenged parents in the province to value education by sending their children to school so that they fairly compete with others for employment globally.
Thabela said most parents in the province had stopped sending their children to school encouraging them instead to join gold panning or seek greener pastures in neighbouring South Africa.
She was speaking to villagers at Matshiye in Matshetsheni at the graduation ceremony of Eventhough Ndabenzihle Ndlovu, a doctor of philosophy graduand, last Sunday.
“In Insiza in 2008 most pupils abandoned school to join gold panning while in Beitbridge young men have abandoned school to take up jobs on South Africa’s farms where they are harvesting potatoes,” Thabela said.
She said the failure by parents to send children to school especially in rural areas, had impacted negatively on the education system.
“Right now the province is bedevilled with a serious shortage of maths and science teachers, we will not have teachers coming from other provinces to teach in Matabeleland South when we should be able to produce our own teachers,” Thabela said.
Over 3 000 pupils dropped out of school in Matabeleland South province this year for various reasons.
Thabela said the 32-year-old Ndlovu, a product of Matshiye Primary School, should be an inspiration to the community of Matshetsheni that every child has the potential to reach great heights if afforded the opportunity.