Its time students become rational in their demands and demonstrate their understanding of how the world economy work around them. Demanding free education during threats of economic downgrading status is inconclusive to the government’s critical purpose to grow the economy and growing economy means attracting foreign investors in the country. It’s fair to say that allowing free higher education will increase the chances of economic downgrade which will leave us dry and unattractive of foreign investment.
Students are constantly singing the tune of free education with no substantial plan in place to implement it and without consideration of the consequences it will have in the economic status of the country, such a phenomenon raise eyebrows to the competency of our future leaders. It seems like the initiative of fees must fall has gained more solidarity members who dearth strategic thinking on the problem they are facing. Perhaps they are rejoicing the act of being activists or unnecessarily disrupting academic activities and burning university property with the purpose of achieving “Free education”. There is more salience in the phrase of “fees must fall” but other dimensions such as how and where can those funds come from goes unheeded.
We often see students going around holding billboards written the “black child is oppressed”, such actions prove that the movement is not authentically for fees must fall but for other issues because the government does provide NATIONAL STUDENT FANANCIAL SCHEME (NSFAS) to those who are poor and those who do not meet its requirements are now funded and are categorized as the “missing middle”. Moreover, there are bursaries provided by the public and private institutions to financially needy students all around the country, it’s fair to state that anyone committed in their education can ensure to get themselves one. Given such alternatives one see no reason for students to play the “race card” and talk about economic background unnecessary.
Considering the low percentage of the upper class in the country there is discrepancies between the number of students who disrupt classes and cry for fees must fall and the rich households in the country. One can question the existence of the fees must fall movement given that it affects the minority who can afford to pay their fees. It cannot be regarded a national issue given that more opportunities are provided by the government to those who can’t afford to pay their fees. It seems like students are gullible to join movements that absolutely have nothing to do with them for the sake of delaying academic activities.
The students must act with rationality and demonstrate what they are learning at academic institutions and critically analyze the hype of free education. Free higher education will take place however the word “quality” will be diminish because there will be less funds to provide the university services such electricity in academic activities, the Wi-Fi service, staff remuneration, security services to name a few. And such a decision may lead to talented lectures leaving and seek better opportunities in other countries because reduction in payment will take place provided that the government will be financially responsible towards universities. It should also be considered that some universities do have enough residences so they rely on off campus accommodation, the question is will the government afford to fork out millions and cover such services.
It is understandable to raise voices on the issue of fee increment and insourcing but it must also be noted that the higher education department decided that university must not surpass the 8% fee increase. Furthermore, some universities if not all are in the process of ensuring that they end the outsourcing of its workers. Hence going around calling for national shutdown and running around with billboards that don’t fit the context of the issue raised is a waste of time.
In conclusion as students the nation is looking up to us for solutions to future problems therefore let’s not disappoint ourselves and the nation at large by acting irrationally to become heroes on the issue of free education without considering its consequences in the wealth of the nation. It’s better to contemplate the issue of fees must fall with its effects and how will it occur in that way we will prevent the loss of university property and more time will be spent in finding solutions rather than crying to the government as if he’s the God to our problems. In the current generation free higher education is not feasible considering the financial constraints the country is facing let’s not waste our time running in the streets for something we know very well it be cold in hell before it happens.