It is time for ANC to provide free education - YCLSA

2016-09-29 20:25
YCLSA logo.

YCLSA logo.

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Pretoria - The Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) on Thursday told the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training that it believes the ANC has ruled long enough to now implement free education.

National secretary Mluleki Dlelanga and national committee member Precious Banda appeared before the commission on behalf of the YCLSA.

"We are of the view that the ANC-led government has been in government for long enough to be able to implement free education."

According to Dlelanga, transformation in education should be implemented based on the interest of working class and poor people and should be implemented by 2020.

"Our argument was that education transformation should be in the interest of the working class and the poor challenging the ideas of the ruling class."

The organisation questioned the ongoing existence of the University of Zululand and University of Venda saying the "previously disadvantaged" institutions don't deliver the same quality of graduates that so-called "previously advantaged" universities do.

Different funding models

"We need an education system that addresses the existing difference between historically white and black universities and colleges. The difference between the two types of universities must be addressed and the gap closed to ensure that the quality of education provided is the same across all institutions of higher learning."

The commission took exception to the organisation's accusations regarding these two universities, saying they do indeed deliver quality graduates and also do good work.

The organisation responded by saying funding at these two universities was not at the same level as that allocated to other universities.

The YCLSA said while free education for the poor was an immediate demand, free education for all was a focus point in the future.

"Though there has been undisputed progress in education transformation, we believe there has been a deliberate stalemate by the government in introducing free quality compulsory education at the cost of the poor."

According to the YCLSA, National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) bursaries alone aren't helping the situation and send students into the working world with debt due to unemployment rates.

Call for fee increase freeze

"In South Africa the provision of NSFAS to poor students has proven to be a key intervention from government though its results are not satisfactory. However, the loan system of NSFAS has led to many black graduates being in debt after completing school. The students fall victim to unpaid loans which go on for years given the unemployment rate."

It also said NSFAS should gradually phase out loans and only offer bursaries.

It called for universities not to raise costs while the issue surrounding free education was still being investigated.

"While still in the process of establishing how free education should be implemented the government must ensure that universities do not increase the fees for the coming academic years and measures are put in place to reduce the cost of learning."

Read more on:    yclsa  |  nsfas  |  education

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