Student union rejects 'two-tier' plan to save the academic year
The SA Union of Students (SAUS) has rejected higher education minister Blade Ndzimande’s plan to save the 2020 academic year, referring to it as a “two-tier education system - one for the rich (online) and one for the poor (post office)”.
“It is SAUS’s observation that the department intends to move forward with institutions, mainly historically white, that can use their own systems, finances and general resources for migrating and implementing online learning, and has once again left historically Bantu universities to struggle to make their own determination to save the year,” read the statement.
The union does, however, recognise that the measures set out by the department have come about during a time when the country and /university systems come to grips with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is our firm view, as a union, that we do not let anxiety and fear over losing a term dictate the strategies to navigate through this critical moment.”
The union said the minister’s briefing had neglected to address plans and measures for students who fall within “peripheral groups”, such as the "missing middle" category of students and international students.
“In their neglect, they have allowed the very issue of inequality that students went to the streets for during #FeesMustFall to rear its ugly head again,” read the statement.