South Africa’s protesting against University fees

by biltong101

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The attached picture was taken just next to my house. For the next two weeks I still live in the proximity of the Hiddingh Campus of the University of Cape Town. What was and are the protests about? South Aftican students had enough of paying fees for tertiary education when a new raise in tuition was announced.

Well done guys! I must say that I’m surprised that a bigger movement towards a change like this only started now. To me higher education like education in general is a human right and should be for free. How otherwise are we suppose to help people who come from poorer backgrounds? Yes, there are grants and loans but not everyone qualifies for the former and the latter have to be paid back at some time point which with South African salaries isn’t such an easy task. People whose matric results are good enough to make it to the University should have an option to pursue their education.

If fees indeed fell it definitely wouldn’t solve all the educational problems here. Many bright students want make it to the university because the level of their education wasn’t high enough and their parents couldn’t afford private tuition. For others a thought of tertiary education is just alien as no one from their surrounding ever graduated from university and it just isn’t a path they would consider taking. Some people will just use the lack of fees as an opportunity to laze around and start few faculties but never graduate which is a big problem in Poland.

Having said all that, if the fees fall some people will actually get an opportunity to study which they otherwise wouldn’t have. I really believe it worth doing it for them. Keeping my fingers crossed for #feesmustfall. If they won’t manage this time, at least an important discussion has started and it will sooner or later bring changes.