WHAT’S A DEGREE WORTH TODAY?
During my high school years, we were told that having an education would always keep us from the “gates of poverty”, and I firmly believed that. Little did I know that the youth of today would face the scourge of unemployment that remains entrenched in our democracy.
Hailing from the small village of Phiphidi in the Limpopo province, I set myself some large, yet achievable, goals: graduating from a reputable institution and getting a good job were uppermost.
I fulfilled my dream to study at tertiary level and graduated from the University of the Free State with a BA degree in communication science. However, I failed to get the good job I always dreamt of.
During my years of study, I saw how my parents cashed out policies so that they could invest in my education. I promised myself I would never fail them. They played their role as supportive parents and I was determined to play mine as a diligent student so I could take care of them in their time of need.
I know my parents are not the only ones who invested their life savings in their child’s schooling and subsequent
Is higher education a worthwhile pursuit, given the economic
TALK TO US
SMS us on 35697 using the
keyword EDUCATION and tell us what you think. Please include your name and province. SMSes
cost R1.50 tertiary education. There are parents who do not have decent jobs and have to eke out a living, but despite their harsh circumstances, they scrimp and save to give their child a better life than the one they are leading.
But how do you succeed in a country where unemployment is rife? Do your peers back in the village still look up to you as a role model when you have nothing to show for those years of study?
How, then, can you convince them that education is the key to success?
These questions are always top of mind, especially since I grapple to find satisfactory answers. I still regard education as the key to success – but it is a broken key, because you don’t know whether that key will open the gates for you or not.
It seems as if the notion of education as a career liftoff is becoming more of a cliché and, as such, it will become harder to persuade ordinary citizens living in poverty to take education seriously.
For those who have just graduated, the days of depending on their parents for financial support are far from over. I cannot imagine how they must be feeling about the unemployment crisis.
After slogging to get that degree and equating their certificate with a ticket out of poverty, all those hours of