2005-03-02 SOUTH AFRICA

Young South Africans are anxious about their future prospects

As a society, we need to respond more effectively to the changing political, economic and social environment in which we find ourselves in the world today. South Africa is a society in flux, as many other countries, where uncertainty, apathy and high levels of crime abound. Learners in a Grade Five class of Sacred Heart College, when asked to describe the world in which they lived, described it as: A world filled with abuse, crime, poverty, pollution, corruption, violence, uncertainty, fear, injustice, rape, murder and hopelessness.Increasing numbers of learners are suffering from emotional disorders such as low self-esteem, aggression, insecurity and depression. Others are running parentless households and looking after younger siblings. Given that unemployment figures are at 40%, young South Africans are also anxious about their future prospects. Every young person deserves and needs individual care and an active interest should be taken in their social and emotional well being through a caring and holistic approach. Educators and parents at Sacred Heart College are challenged to empower the learners with values and skills that will enable them to cope with such a world. Wholesome values should be developed in the learners, in order to counter the consumerist and materialistic values promoted in the media and by society in general. The Gospel values of faith, hope and love have to be promoted, if we are to entrench the concepts of human dignity and the pursuit of the common good.


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