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'What are you going to do with a grade 9 certificate?'

Professor Jansen addressed Khayelitsha learners and encouraged them to do always do their best.

FILE: The vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State addressed 90 learners, all recipients of Sanral scholarships, at the Centre of Science and Technology. Picture: Monique Mortlock/EWN

KHAYELITSHA - Professor Jonathan Jansen has encouraged a group of Khayelitsha learners to not give into pressures from society.

The vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State addressed 90 learners, all recipients of Sanral scholarships, at the Centre of Science and Technology.

Professor Jonathan Jansen joked with learners that he didn't want to attend the talk as it's his wedding anniversary.

#COSAT Jansen has the students and teachers in stitches as he starts his speech with a joke. MM pic.twitter.com/IsxchhM2wW

Jansen then turned serious when he spoke about the level of education in the country.

He referred to governments plan to introduce school-leaving certificates to grade nines.

"What the [heck] are you going to do with a grade nine certificate in the 21st century economy?"

The Department of Basic Education recently shared plans to introduce a grade nine leaving certificate called the General Education and Training Certificate.

The certificate would enable learners to go and study further at a Technical Vocational Education and Training College.

Jansen told learners they are living in a country where they're constantly told they're nobody.

He asked them to strive for excellence despite their circumstances.

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