Nzimande: Free education for the poor

2012-06-28 19:20

Johannesburg - Free education for the poor should become a reality sooner rather than later, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said on Thursday.

Much had already been done to alleviate the financial strain higher education put on poorer students, he said in response to a memorandum by SA Students' Congress (Sasco) demanding free education.

"Loans and bursaries administered by the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) have been expanded substantially over the last three years."

Funding for loans and bursaries tripled from R2.3bn in 2008 to R6bn last year. An amount of R50m was also made available for post-graduate scholarships, and R63m for disabled students.

Sasco proposed that free education be funded by corporate tax, particularly derived from monopoly industries. It also wanted universities to stop withholding students' results if they could not afford to pay their fees.

Other demands included the disbanding of the council and management of the University of Free State, and for Nzimande to play a stronger role in the transformation of tertiary education institutions.

"We actually share Sasco’s concerns relating to improving the living and learning environments for students at higher education and training institutions."

Tuition fees, however, were determined by university councils rather than the ministry of higher education.

He denied Sasco's assertion that the ministerial working group on free education was duplicating the work of the NSFAS review committee.

"Sasco is also welcome to invite the department’s officials to your meetings, in order to assist you to develop a better understanding of my vision and objectives on post-school education and training," Nzimande said.

  • wesley.nel.5 - 2012-06-28 19:24

    With what, you can't even supply books, dream on

      Squeegee - 2012-06-28 19:38

      Great idea in a perfect society. Unfortunately here it is going to mean even worse standards.

      francois.smith.7 - 2012-06-28 19:49

      Sasco proposed that free education be funded by corporate tax, particularly derived from monopoly industries. - This means Eskom, the SABC, Water Boards, thus in fact the users of the state services will now need to pay for the abusers of state services even more. Blade, just be careful, free education, may exactly become that free education where you pay for what you get. I think this mindset of dishing out without wanting something in return must stop - but that will go down difficult in a party who dishes out other people's money to stay in power or just take for themselves and forget to give something back. Nice political rhetoric, but the masses will believe and love you.

      melania.nel - 2012-06-28 20:18

      Could someone please explain to me what they deem to be expensive and now need for free? What is the current cost to attend a government school?

      Jellyarse - 2012-06-28 20:49

      South Africa - land of the FREE! Home of the (very) brave.

      Godfrey - 2012-06-28 20:57

      Don't take Blade so seriously, he tasted the good life and will say anything to book his seat on the gravy-train. He know this will not happen "in his life-time" lol.

      scouter.fourone - 2012-06-28 21:09

      I personally don't want to see anyone who cannot be bothered to register in good time, who demonstrates on and trashes the campus at the drop of a hat or badmouths the very sector of society that funds them, to be given a free university education. Sorry, not very PC but I am a bit old fashioned on such matters. Apart from that the whole idea is a pipe dream and could never happen in any event.

  • braamc - 2012-06-28 19:27

    We demand, we demand everything for free. Get your thieving lazy useless cadres to start work efficiently first, can't even get books to schools for Jan by June.

      warren.vanwyk.3 - 2012-06-28 20:49

      @ braamc: One thing you can say the ANC government is good at is magic... last year they made R19 billion disappear, poof, gone! Nobody knows where it is. Is my maths a little out or could this missing R19 billion easily school all scholars in S.A. from Grade1 to the end of university?

  • Tony Lapson - 2012-06-28 19:29

    This should have happened Years ago.

      Juan - 2012-06-28 20:27

      Education of the poor is the best way of uplifting the poor. Money well spent

      theo.schoeman.71 - 2012-06-28 20:37

      @Juan.. I dont agree. Education of the poor is a must but it wont uplift them unless amny other factors is managed properly by the state. In the beginning years Zim had an excellent education system, but no one was uplifted becaus of the inability to govern and ensure a stable economy. Altough Zim produced many educated people they became one of the poorest countries on the continent with the highest un-employment rate.

  • Warwick Bristow - 2012-06-28 19:36

    Free education for the poor should have been implemented years ago. When the majority of people are educated this country will start reaching its potential.

      JM - 2012-06-28 20:00

      Educated in What? The History of Apartheid? or (x-y + 6.5 x 7,89) = bull!!! The African Dictators ( the likes of Mugabe and his late friends Ghadaffi and Mubarak) all have the policy that poor people are easy to rule! The Afrikaner Regime had the same policy. So did Mbeki, Zuma and who-ever shall follow. Simple equation = no need for education.

      raymond.abrahamse - 2012-06-28 20:14

      It will not happen,even by the year 3000,they will still be doing the same things.

  • roann.louw.7 - 2012-06-28 19:38

    Nothing in life is FREE. Somebody will have to pay the bills and im sure it will be the guys who work and pay their own kids fees

  • JM - 2012-06-28 19:40

    Wash your face dude and quit the bo-tox , then maybe your eyes will open and see whats up in places like Uganda , Rwanda , Burundi etc where all parets regardles of financial conditions are forced to pay school fees! And these kids go to school to slash the grass in the school yard! You are an absolutely delusional!!!

  • fanie.smit.5 - 2012-06-28 19:42

    What! Is this man brain dead. They can not get the books for the kids in time for Jan 2012. Maybe next year Sept 2013. What rubish is he talking about or is it that he is losing his position and playing the growds. Please somebody shoot theman because he is suffering brain damage.

      raymond.abrahamse - 2012-06-28 20:09

      Most of them are brain dead and are living dead.

      raymond.abrahamse - 2012-06-28 20:09

      Most of them are brain dead and are the living dead.

  • alet.dewitt - 2012-06-28 19:51

    There is no such thing as FREE , mr nzimande, somewhere, someone along the line must somehow PAY for what you classify as free...... the sooner you delete the word free from your dictionary and create jobs and teach people to live responsibly, the faster we will move forward

  • james.lance.969 - 2012-06-28 19:52

    If education is provided to all the poor for FREE, then every child should receive free education, because what qualifies you as "poor"? If government officials are provided with expensive Mercedes/BMW's, then I'm sure they can downgrade to Toyata Yaris's so that the extra R500 000 that was saved, can be used to help support at least one school for 3-4 months. You see, it's easy to announce something like "Free Education for the Poor", but then you should also be willing to take a hit.

  • jimzimbo - 2012-06-28 19:57

    First and foremost SA needs a functional and accountable education department focused on delivery and with the ability to meet expectations of the electorate.......not the current idiots....

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-06-28 20:06

    If paid for education is in such a disgraceful state, can you imagine what free education is going to be like? I shudder to think. Suddenly government wakes up and discovers what a mess schooling is in - lets be absolutely honest here, who is truly responsible for this mess? It cannot be the fault of the white minority, as they no longer govern the country. They do not hold the contracts for the provision of books and materials - the tenderpreneurs have that privilege. Why were deadlines not met? Whose heads are going to roll? Parents should bring a class action against government - because it is their children that are being disadvantaged.

  • johan.jacobs.5680 - 2012-06-28 20:08

    "Pina da Cara" pineappleface without books,you must be joking again.

  • stephen.king.900 - 2012-06-28 20:19

    Hey Blade catch a wake up, your not going to have any pupils comming to the so called higher education system. How they going to get there when they dont get the learning material in the lower education system.

  • stephen.king.900 - 2012-06-28 20:19

    Hey Blade catch a wake up, your not going to have any pupils comming to the so called higher education system. How they going to get there when they dont get the learning material in the lower education system.

  • Andrew - 2012-06-28 20:26

    All words. The education is in an absolute shambles under the ANC so what is free education. No education under their watch. They cannot even deliver the text books within six months of the term starting. What a shambles and a laugh. All just eletioneering propoganda!!!!

  • john.doeslough - 2012-06-28 20:32

    What's the point of a free education if your standards are so low that anyone can pass? What is a pass rate now days, 40%, 35%???!! You might as well give these kids access to wikipedia, they will probably learn more from that than our fantastic education system

  • jimzimbo - 2012-06-28 20:33

    Who will deliver this education and how will on god's earth will it be delivered.....???

  • michael.rampatla - 2012-06-28 20:36

    It is cursed to be black african, while we are still nursing the wounds of apartheid here comes the ANC make matters worse

  • arthur.hugh - 2012-06-28 20:47

    Well if they can get it right then that's awesome, but then also do away with BEE and AA so that educated whites and educated blacks etc have an equal footing (best man for the job).

  • sean.noble1 - 2012-06-28 20:50

    I say give the poor free education,, that way they will develop the intellegence to see through the crap the ANC is shovelling and start voting for a proper politcal party.

      Bless Boswell - 2012-06-29 07:33

      Oh dear Shaun, now you've gone and spilt the beans.

  • nkhangwe.madzivh - 2012-06-28 20:54

    Politicians thinks we enjoy lies and empty promise they are always telling us,I reckon they must just shut up and stop fooling us,how many times we heard about free education?they must start feeling ashamed of themselves.

  • chris.potgieter.73 - 2012-06-28 20:57

    Free education only in a truly non racist society.

  • Ian - 2012-06-28 21:04

    maybe flee lice, idiots

  • daCouncillor - 2012-06-28 21:05

    Mr Blade Nzimande, where were you in 1994???. To enlighten you, your ANC alliance partner promised FREE education as part of their election strategy. AND oh YES Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. bloodly hell, seen nothing as yet. . . the AnC build small toolsheds and called it RDP houses. . . while their members in government plundered the state coffers. . .

      Bless Boswell - 2012-06-29 07:45

      This is only the tip of the iceberg. Education, or the lack thereof, is visible - what about the things we cannot see?? I think we, the public would be horrified if we knew the full extent of the skulduggery that goes on in government. There should be absolute transparency in every government's financial affairs.

  • toofaan.monsoon - 2012-06-28 21:16

    Our standards are so low in high school, it's laughable. Even then (with only 30 percent required in sub global standard papers), our pass rates are ridiculous. Fact is that if we raised our standards at school level like we should, there would be far less students eligible for universities (where bursaries are wasted on students who have no chance of passing first year).More students would enter techs etc that are more affordable. This would lower costs tremendously. More importantly, our degrees, diplomas etc would actually be worth the paper they're written on. Yes, free education for the poor is important, but why do we drop our standards to such an extent that we cannot determine who are our brightest kids so we can reward them too ?

  • Ken Jay May - 2012-06-28 21:56

    How much of the R6Bn funding for loans and bursaries have you guys stolen?

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