Celebrating Youth Day can be a bittersweet occasion in South Africa. While it is important to commemorate those who paved the way for our freedom, there remains much work to be done to ensure access to education is not a luxury reserved for the powerful and privileged. The calls for greater access to Higher Education, reasonable accommodation and the decolonisation of curricula should not be treated as a pipedream.

As we remember the Youth of ‘76 who took a stand against the apartheid regime, let us not repeat the mistakes of older generations who told them to see the glass half full. Let us not use the mammoth task of reforming the Higher Education sector to dismiss the concerns of young people today who face a future of unemployment, underemployment, political instability and climate disasters.

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