National Assembly: Cape Town, 21st June 2011
Although the new government came with the agenda of transformation,
higher education in our country is still faced with many challenges.
Without a doubt, universities are the key role players in this
agenda to disperse the unequal academic outputs and obstacles in
providing education, research and services which would later
translate to desirable levels of skilled individuals.
However, preparation of students for higher education starts at
senior level. It is no secret that our school system faces many problems
such as poor learning environments, and the poor attitudes of
teachers themselves especially in black schools has resulted in poor
performance of certain schools across the country. Therefore there
should be coordination to improve the quality of education and the
quality of students produced.
The old South Africa had many advantages for whites, alienating
non-whites, resulting in the current society where financial
difficulties are experienced mostly in black communities. To address
these financial imbalances the government provides financial aid,
allowances and subsidized accommodation and catering for the
disadvantaged students. Although these interventions increased
numbers of students receiving tertiary education there is still more
which can be done especially to increase expertise and for students
to be educated to honours, masters and even PhD levels.
Although the National Student Financial Aid Scheme of South Africa
has showed progress it is in urgent need of restructuring and
capacity enhancement if it is to deliver on its mandate.
The IFP supports the preposition by the NSAFAS chairman Prof Sipho
Pityana to establish a central admission clearing house to determine
potential students who will qualify for financial support as in
other countries, where career advice and related infrastructure will
be provided to help students in making career choices.
Moreover, this will give universities the capacity to refer students
to other Further Education and Training Colleges (FETs) or to
programmes sponsored by the National Skills Fund or Sector Education
and Training Authorities (Setas) if they do not qualify. In this
way they will be directed accordingly rather than wasting money on
students who are in the wrong field.
Research has shown that an educated nation spells progress and
development. Moreover, education is a passage into a poverty free
nation, hence the IFP seeks to see such a nation.
Therefore the IFP supports this budget vote.
I thank you
Prince MMM Zulu