Free Education Will NOT Make Students Lazy

2016-01-16 00:53

When a matriculant from a very poor family gets a scholarship from ABSA or the Department of Energy, that matriculant gets the opportunity to study in a university for free. He/she gets an opportunity that wouldn't have been there had there been no funding. Fees gatekeep the poor from accessing education. Fees make education exclusive to the rich and they multiply and recycle their privilege. No poor person can afford R80 000 per annum to fund a 3 year degree at Rhodes University.

When that matriculant arrives at university, he/she needs no inspiration. The living conditions he/she comes from, the background, the situation at home is an inspiration enough to work hard here, pass in order to maintain my funding from ABSA/Department of Energy, get the degree, get the job and go change the situation at home. That's the procedure, nothing else.

I've never seen a matriculant coming to university to play. They all come with a similar story. They come with that energy. They come with that hope - that through this my tomorrow is going to be better than yesterday. Not once have I ever heard one of them saying they come to university to play. Never.

So the racist remarks of saying when there's free education, black students will flood universities, be lazy and not pass must be dismissed with the discontent that it deserves. It usually comes from a certain group of people who still want doors of opportunity to be opened exclusively to them. They even escalate their racist views by adding bogus economic theory on them saying "a consumer takes serious value to something they pay for". A stupid statement without any evidence or research. People who make that statement like to think they've made a powerful point but were only uttering zero.

Our own evidence is that when a door of opportunity and empowerment is opened to somebody who never imagined that it'll ever be, they take it with both hands. They value it because its a key out of poverty. They value it because they earned it on merit, hence they qualify to be in university that would have otherwise been blocked by fees. So the demand for free education is legitimate and its at the right moment. More and more matriculants must enter the doors of learning for free before we are told that there are no more funds available in the scholarship offered by ABSA/Department of Energy

PEDRO MZILENI

16 JANUARY 2015

JOHANNESBURG

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