Burning places of learning is setting us back - Archbishop Makgoba

2016-09-25 11:45
The burnt University of KwaZulu-Natal Howard College Law Library. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

The burnt University of KwaZulu-Natal Howard College Law Library. (Kaveel Singh, News24)

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Cape Town - Burning schools, libraries, and institutions of higher learning is setting South Africa back from progressing as a nation, says Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba.

Makgoba, who is also chancellor of the University of the Western Cape, said in a statement at the weekend that these facilities were important heritage sites.

“It is in these schools, libraries and institutions where people’s lives have been transformed.”

He was “deeply pained” by the instability at universities, referring to protests on campus following an announcement by Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande that universities could raise tuition fees, but by no more than 8%.

Makgoba said these institutions had moulded leaders and transformed the lives of children and families from rural areas and townships.

He asked students to give the fees commission the space to do its work and await recommendations on the feasibility of free education for the poor.

“We must protect our students’ right to learn in a conducive and enabling environment.”

He said it was important to refrain from deepening inequality through “destructive actions”.

“You have the opportunity to be part of something bigger than yourselves. When one day you reflect on this time, may the story you tell be one that fills you with pride. May it be a story that, like the stories your parents told you of their fight for your right to equal education, makes future generations appreciate the opportunities we have that they never had."

Read more on:    thabo makgoba  |  education  |  university fees  |  university protests

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