A touch of realism needed - Times LIVE
Thu Apr 27 09:03:56 SAST 2017

A touch of realism needed

Tom Mhlanga, Braamfontein | 2016-01-20 00:38:25.0
STUDENTS PROTEST: University students, who called for a zero-percent fee hike during the #FeesMustFall campaign last year, have vowed to step up their campaign this month
Image by: AFP PHOTO

The call for free tertiary education has been in the public domain for many years now. Some have even distorted the Freedom Charter in their argument.

In the past year this call has reached new heights.

A fee increment by universities led to the launch of the #FeesMustFall movement, which not only calls for universities to not increase fees, but also campaigns for free quality education for all.

But is this call realistic? The answer is NO.

If one considers the economic climate in our country, one can argue that the call might have been morally correct but not practical.

What must be done here is to allow those who can afford to pay to do so.

Government must only pay for those who can't afford it.

Imagine a child of Motsepe or Ramaphosa studying free just because there is a policy of free education in South Africa.

This is not benefiting the poor because the rich will only use the money saved to buy fancy cars and for parties while the poor will only appreciate the free dining hall meals.

I urge South Africans to be sensible when debating this matter. We know those who brought it to the fore have good intentions but they forgot to be realistic.

The bottom line is that we need positive discrimination, which will take us forward, not slogans about free education just because we want to be heroic.


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