Pretoria — President Jacob Zuma says the results of the 2011 Census show that government is on the correct path in achieving its goal of universal access to education for all the children.
"The Census 2011 results showcase the strides we have made in educating children which remains the key right of all children. Any country that wants to be prosperous economically needs to invest in the education of its children. By educating our children we are also creating better leaders of tomorrow who will take this country forward," said Zuma in a statement to wish all the children of South Africa a happy National Children's Day.
National Children's Day is celebrated annually in South Africa on the first Saturday of November. This year it was celebrated at Malebitsa village, outside Marble Hall in Limpopo.
"We are working to correct all the systemic challenges in education, and with the support of all stakeholders in society including parents and communities, we will improve our outcomes in education especially for children in poor households."
He said as a nation it was our duty to protect the rights of our children.
"Let us all ensure that we play a role in providing the best environment possible for the upbringing of our children, free of poverty, hunger, abuse and neglect and which unlocks their true potential. Their future is the future of our country," he said.
According to Census results, the proportion of children with no schooling has halved over the period between 1996 and 2011. There is also a huge increase in the enrolment of children from pre-school to primary and high school right up to tertiary level.
"The proportion of our children who go on to complete matric has also increased significantly from 16 percent in 1996 to 29 percent in 2011," said Zuma.