THE xenophobic attacks that have horrified South Africans are "completely fixable" through good education that did more than just improve people intellectually, says Taddy Blecher, CEO of Cida City Campus, SA's first low-cost tertiary education institution.

SA's education system needed to imbue citizens with values and encourage belief in their own ideas, he said.

"Education is vital, as bad as it might be, and in many of our schools education is broken.

"But school is not just about facts, it's also about what you become as a human being," he told a Henley Management College breakfast in Johannesburg yester-day.

However, the fact that Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe had seven degrees did not make the country a better place.

"We have to think about what kind of education we are giving South Africans. Xenophobia, poverty ... these are dark things, but we have missed the point about education, it's all about people, about growing them from their start to the day they die."

South Africans understood the value of education but many were not given the opportunity to improve themselves because those who could help them chose not to do so, he said .