Education determines a person’s ideological outlook but there must also be a mind-set change, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has said.
“[People] must reorientate themselves from being forces of resistance to being forces of change,” Mantashe told students today at the University of the North West’s Vaal Triangle Campus in Vanderbijlpark.
“You can’t burn a library to build a road. The mind-set must change, people still burn libraries.”
He said education should be used to produce intellectuals who would help build the future.
Mantashe urged students from a working class background to use their education to better the communities they came from.
“Once you acquire knowledge, it will only have a meaning if you use it to advance that working class where you come from.
“Society must benefit from your knowledge,” he said.
Mantashe was talking on the theme “education as a site for the struggle.”
There had been progress as the number of university students had tripled in the past 20 years.
He said although free, quality education was important, more emphasis needed to be put on getting children from poor families into universities.
The youth were the people who would build the future of the country.
“Students have a responsibility of building the future. This can only be a reality if students take their role seriously,” he said.
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