I spent much of last week on Facebook tackling conspiracy theories, perpetuated by easily-influenced and ignorant people.
Things like the mark of the beast being infused into vaccines with microchips that will monitor us; 5G technology causing cancers and a new world order ruling the earth and advertising the fact with cheap, colourful badges that they wear on national TV.
I eventually gave up, because it got very tiring after a while.
But it got me thinking about why some people are so easily convinced of things that don’t really take much brain power to discredit.
And I have come to the conclusion that some governments must find themselves in quite a predicament at the moment.
It’s all got to do with education systems.
I have previously said that I don’t believe that our government is interested in equal education where all students are given access to the same high-quality resources that will teach them to become critical thinkers.
If you have such a highly literate electorate, it will eventually mean fewer votes for your party, if it is not a party of high principles and morals.
A highly educated population will demand high standards from their public servants, so it’s in their best interest to keep the majority of them as uneducated as you can get away with.
In other words, easily influenced, easily convinced and easily swayed to vote for you.
But now with a pandemic threatening to decimate South Africa, what we need most is an educated population.
We need citizens who won’t easily be taken in by nonsense logic, conspiracies that are easily discredited and who will trust science and do what is needed to stay safe and alive.
We need individuals who can think for themselves, but our education system never taught them how to do that.
It is a crime that our politicians continue to perpetuate, with thin excuses about funding and resources.
The only thing that makes sense is that a highly literate population will mean some unscrupulous people will not make it into powerful positions in future.
But – as has been proven elsewhere in the world – it will also mean happy and skilled citizens, who are ready to face any new individual or national crises. Just ask New Zealand.
Equal education is now not merely a right to ensure a bright future, but it is now a matter of life and death; and something we should demand of our government.