No right is absolute

2015-11-04 06:00

THE increased tension at universities give rise to significant issues. While freedom of expression is an entrenched right, no right is absolute and without restraints as an unbridled horse can lead to chaos.

In a democracy there can never be justification for violent protests or destructive behaviour from students which simply borders on criminality.

A student is required to contain frustration and express dissension or disagreement in a refined manner that does not usurp the right of others - to do so would be counter- productive.

Without doubt, a challenge to exorbitant fees must be expressed and it is understandable that poor families cannot sustain university costs, which have become out of proportion now and it is difficult to raise monies for students when the family is barely able to meet their daily needs.

Universities need to look into this matter and find suitable remedies and until then, should not implement any increases. However, to deny the efforts and strides government has made (despite the other negative impacts of corruption, etc., that is levelled against them which may be justifiable), is incomparable to what has been under the previous regime.

The opportunities created today by government cannot be discounted and any challenge a pupil has should be addressed in a responsible manner as funding will always be a contentious and difficult issue because money is required to achieve many needs in the country and the high unemployment rate, the lack of injection into the treasury in the form of taxes, the many impending projects that need to be responded to and the shortage in basic infrastructure need to be balanced with the need for education, which is as important.

Strategically, the actions of the students have been orchestrated near to exams and that also does to add to credibility.

Reckless disregard should be exchanged for a calm and composed atmosphere and it would be refreshing if all affected parties amicably resolve this impasse as it is not good for the state, the students or for the country because this type of disruption affects our reputation internationally as well.

Rashid Patel

Via email

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