Education for all: How far are we?


July commemorates former president Nelson Mandela and the legacy he left for us. One of the things he valued most was education and educating the youth of the country.

Just how much progress have we made to fulfil his wishes for an educated South Africa 20 plus years into the country’s democracy?

These are some of the latest statistics on the state of youth education in South Africa:

  • The Department of Basic Education’s country progress report shows that although 86 per cent of young people between the age of 16 and 18 are in school, only 5 per cent complete grade 12 by age 18, the expected age of completion.
  • Additional research shows that students completing grade 10 face only a 52 per cent chance of employment.
  • Further education and training (FET) colleges – schools that should provide vocational and practical skills training – enrol about 200,000 students a year, but this is far from sufficient to compensate for current dropout rates, the report states.
  • The youth unemployment rate rose by 1.6 percentage points to 38.6 per cent‚ with 58 per cent of unemployed people aged between 15 and 34 in June 2017.
  • The same study shows that of the people who did not have work‚ 9.3 million wanted work in the first quarter; while those who wanted work but did not look for work increased by 391‚000 people.

A South African entrepreneur, inspired by Madiba’s legacy, who boldly aims to challenge these statistics is EvenMe! co-founder and co-owner Jill Young Schutte.

Department of Basic Education changes pass requirements

Schutte decided to make it her mission to not only make educational tools and courses available to the youth for free but, in addition, to assist them to be more employable and educate them on how to start their own businesses.

Photo: Sean Brand
Jill Young Schutte is the co-owner of EvenMe.

EvenMe! is a communal platform where people with entrepreneurial ambition can bounce ideas around, get information, connect with the right people and formulate solutions – a one-stop-shop for advice, tips, e-learning, job searches and development.

Today, more than a year and a half after its launch, a large number of young people have gone through the online portal and came out more educated and employable.

The portal and app are continuously upgraded and now boast:

  • Free online learning from Accounting to Zoology and everything in between
  • Links to internship, learnership and job sites
  • Step by step guides on how to navigate any phase of your life from leaving school to opening your own business
  • Essential tips and advice to help you make the best career choices.

EvenMe! offers user journeys which are step by step guides on the how-to for just about anything you need to know and what to expect when leaving school, studying, finding a job and running your own business.

Young South Africans are encouraged to sign up at to enjoy all these benefits for free.

“Every young South African that signs up has the power to challenge not only their own circumstances but also make the country a better one to live in – as Madiba envisioned it to be,” Schutte concluded.

To be in the loop on the latest updates and activations visit the EvenMeMyLifeOnline Facebook page, connect via LinkedIn or simply follow @EvenMeLife on Twitter, evenme1 on Instagram and EvenMe Music on Soundcloud.

Staff Reporter

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