Nur­ture crit­i­cal think­ing among SA youth

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - THIS WEEK YOU’RE SAYING ... -

ANY log­i­cal-think­ing South African can see that South Africa is fac­ing a rather bleak fu­ture. The youth of this coun­try stands to in­herit the coun­try 15 or 20 years from now.

But it begs the ques­tions: does South Africa have log­i­cal-think­ing youth who do not just ac­cept ev­ery slo­gan thrown at them? Do we have youth who an­a­lyse, ques­tion and man­age sit­u­a­tions?

Seem­ingly, log­i­cal think­ing is a rar­ity among South Africa’s youth. A log­i­cal-think­ing youth would not eas­ily fall into a trap of be­com­ing a re­ac­tionary.

Bell Pot­tinger, if we paid any at­ten­tion, ex­posed the vul­ner­a­bil­ity of our youth’s ca­pa­bil­ity to think, to say, “But hang on, why are we sud­denly be­ing fed this when we should be deal­ing with that?”.

It is not clear whether state cap­ture was more dif­fi­cult to fight, or stran­gling each other based on racial lines (thanks to Bell Pot­tinger) came more eas­ily. But what­ever it is, it is owed to how South Africa’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem grooms the fu­ture of South Africa’s crit­i­cal think­ing.

Slo­ga­neer­ing is the death of South Africa. If our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem pro­duces re­ac­tionar­ies, cor­rupt el­e­ments will al­ways oc­cupy the Union Build­ings un­til the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem begins to in­vest in crit­i­cal think­ing – as op­posed to “go to school and find a de­cent job”, a de­cent job where the real work is done by peo­ple who come from an ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem that taught them to stretch their minds as far as they could to be­come global com­peti­tors.

Pop­ulism will not be seen as the No 1 en­emy of the fu­ture of South Africa if the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem pro­duces what I call “ed­u­cated fools”.

Our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem should be groom­ing chil­dren to be crit­i­cal thinkers, the kind of crit­i­cal think­ing that will al­le­vi­ate poverty, youth un­em­ploy­ment, junk sta­tus, cor­rup­tion, state cap­ture, and be re­sis­tant to pop­ulism, racism, trib­al­ism and the like.

South Africa needs to stand up for ed­u­ca­tion, and call for a change so we rest know­ing our chil­dren are left with a coun­try that is func­tion­ing, and they’re build­ing on the progress and suc­cesses.


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