Student protest disrupts learning at Umfolozi College Groutville

2018-04-25 06:01
PHOTO: suppliedStudents at Umfolozi TVET Collage in Groutville have decided to protest by sleeping in classes as part of their accommodation demands.

PHOTO: suppliedStudents at Umfolozi TVET Collage in Groutville have decided to protest by sleeping in classes as part of their accommodation demands.

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STUDENTS at Umfolozi TVET College at the Chief Albert Luthuli Campus in Groutville embarked on a protest over student accommodation and allowances by National Students Financial Aid System (NSFAS) since Tuesday, April 10.

Students at the campus took it upon themselves to sleep in classes until the
Department of Education and the NSFAS addressed the situation as the college has since been closed.

According to the campuses student organisation, the South African Students Congress (SASCO) chairperson Nkanyiso Nxumalo said that they have been patient with NSFAS and the department in terms of meeting them halfway by providing student accommodation and funding of students who cannot afford to pay fees.

“As we speak, the college is closed until further notice and the protests have escalated to other campuses as we are all in solidarity about the accommodation issue and the authorities are not attending to our demands. “We are going to continue with the protest until our demands are met,” Nxumalo said.

Among the issues the students have raised is the travel and accommodation allowances from NSFAS and that the department should come address them regarding a way forward.
A meeting was planned for Friday between the department, NSFAS, Umfolozi and student representatives, however, there was no resolution reached.

Umfolozi’s head of marketing Bhekani Ndlovu spoke to the Stanger Weekly and confirmed that the college has been closed until further notice and that other campuses have also been closed as the student protests have intensified.

“There has been no memorandum being presented to the college, but what we can say is that Luthuli Campus is not built to offer accommodation and across all campuses only two offer accommodation and [regarding] NSFAS [first priority is] student tuition and books followed by allowances,” Ndlovu said.

The public order policing unit was called to intervene and remove students who were camped inside the campus and sleeping in classes. The department is yet to issue a statement with regards to the situation.

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