President Ramaphosa encouraged the youth to apply to higher education institutions
President Cyril Ramaphosa recently posted a tweet inspired by his community visits in which he encouraged young South Africans to register with higher learning institutions as a vehicle to improve their lives.
On Monday President Cyril Ramaphosa was visiting the Masinenge informal settlement where he met the son of Bawinile Nding, Lundi. He had just completed his matric but had not applied to any tertiary institution.
“I visited the home of Bawinile Ndinga and I met her son Lundi who has just finished matric. He told me he had not applied to further his studies. I urge all young people who have successfully completed matric to pursue tertiary studies so as to unlock your true potential,” he tweeted.
This stirred up discussions in which people questioned just how accessible higher education is and whether enough aid is provided to ensure that pupils are able to successfully transition from a secondary level to a tertiary institution.
Ramaphosa’s tweet comes in the midst of an ongoing campus shut down at the University of South Africa (Unisa) campuses. The shutdown is aimed at getting management to address issues being faced by students relating to NSFAS funding, mass exclusion and the advertising or unaccredited courses.
Speaking to DRUM, the President of SRC for the Tshwane University of Technology, Kevin Phehla said, “We need better systems in disadvantaged communities to ensure students are well equipped and able to pass their matric year with marks that allow them entry to higher learnering institutions.” Kevin continued to say access to higher education is only accessible if all people have equal opportunity.
At the University of Johannesburg (UJ) is where multitudes of students made their way to get the registration process underway. The long queues were broken when a large number of students was sent back home because they had not been approved for funding.
Ntshuxeko Bvuma a 3rd year law student detailed the issues of funding as draining and inherently what causes students to develop issues of depression. “The selection criteria for NSFAS only funds people who have lost their parents or come from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds,” said Ntshuxeko.
He continued to say, “what must happen to those of us who come from okay families but still cannot afford to pay for our fees?”
Basetsana Thabeng a Food operations undergraduate told DRUM that she wished other funding institutions were advertised as much as NSFAS, “I wish we had more funding alternatives because we stand here and wait for hours and get sent back home in the end without registering.”