#Fees2017 ANELE Mngadi

2016-10-05 06:00
PHOTO:supplied Anele Mngadi

PHOTO:supplied Anele Mngadi

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THE Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande seem to believe that the protests were an already arranged programme, regardless of what his announcement would have been the protesting would have continued as an act of anarchism.

His announcement however had a lot of grey areas hence some students believe that he said nothing at all, looking at a few key areas of the announcement: university councils should decide on the fee increment but should not be exceed eight percent.

The poor and the “missing middle” with annual income of R600 000 will not be subjected to the fee increment, students who qualify for NSFAS will also be exempt from the increment.

One of the biggest mistakes made by the minister is to treat NSFAS as a tactic to counteract the issue of fees, being incognisant to the fact that NSFAS is a loan, thus saying that the poor will pay all the money they do not have now later, including interest, now how is that a move towards free education.

NSFAS itself is a flawed system, in 2015 NSFAS required R51 billion from government to operate effectively but only received R8.3 bn showing that not all the poor are covered by NSFAS to begin with.

As we wait for the fees commission to submit its recommendations on the sustainability of free education – the rich must pay, however, as an act of good faith and a promise to students, the minister should have announced a fee decrees for the poor and the so called “missing middle” if we are moving towards free education than I think we can all agree that fee hikes are a move in the wrong direction.

Secondly the fight is for an Afrocentric curriculum that speaks to the African student, a curriculum that address African problems and assist students with skills needed in Africa.

Thirdly is to hold university management accountable for the promises made during the #FeesMustFall2015 that by this time have not been actualised or forgotten such as the promise to insource university service workers.

Buildings are not burning for the fun of it, the shutdown is not because students are lazy to go to school, the goal is not to be ungovernable. The cause is just.

A luta continua.

“Those at the opposite end of progress will be judged by harshly by history” - Unknown.

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