We are not worthy of NSFAS

2015-11-11 12:13

Perhaps one will require to protect themselves with a metaphorical condom, for the text is filled with microbial threats to your emotional, spiritual and political health as Professor Jonathan Jansen posit in his foreword to Eusebius McKasier's A Bantu in my Bathroom book.

I say this with much conviction merely because of the consumptions lobbied successfully by the students in solidarity to the Fees Must Fall movement, how NSFAS has become irrelevant, the fact that nothing is really said to/about the minority of students who were fortunate enough to be accepted by NSFAS - yet they go wasting the funded money - from which some have propitiously been able to falsify written declarations made under oath (affidavits) and lastly of how it is ironic that I come before you ripping myself into filthy pieces, yet I am the same child that was able to convince her parents to enroll at a university of which its tuition fees are almost double of what they have been paying.

During the Fees Must Fall protesting days, I was more captured by a banner which was held highly by a student from the University of Witwatersrand that read, "I am privileged to be able to come here, but I do not want to study alone without those who are not as fortunate as I am." I relate to that. Considering the fact that, I for one, come from a forgotten middle-class family where I am rosy enough to be able to pay off my tuition fees on time, but not rosy enough to have such a posing headline as suggested by my arrogant thoughts.

The Department of Higher Education has been criticizing the National Students Financial Aid Scheme, which is set to be turned into a grant, by what is perceived as its inability to collect its loans that amount to billions of rands from graduates across the country, graduates of which many remain unemployed. If there is something I have learned, it is to never set yourself on fire to keep others warm. Surely the Department does not expect unemployed graduates to pay off these loans with money they do not have. The government's struggling NSFAS has reached its sell by date and the only solution for disadvantaged students is cost-free education.

The root of this piece lies on the mayhem of students who on the other hand are misusing these funds, how it also defeats the purpose of ever applying to get funded.

My recent encounters on campus have been a dream turned into a nightmare - a nightmare whereby you get approached by someone who is in possession of an eduloan card begging you to use that card for grocery and book shopping in exchange of you giving them money (money of which is likely to be used recklessly), since they cannot use the very same card for ATM withdrawals.

I detest beggars, not beggars themselves but the questions that remain in my ear as I walk away from giving, in this regard.

How is it that year after year we silently protect those that are legally stealing from those in need? We have looked into so many reasons as to why many students may never receive the help they need financially but never touch on the fact that we live in close connection with our own oppressors.

Twitter handle: @MercySechogela

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