Retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke has put his views on the crisis facing higher education in the country‚ suggesting that the solution should be more nuanced in an unequal society‚ requiring the rich to pay while the poor should be fully funded.
Addressing students and staff at the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics at Wits University‚ where he was appointed as honorary professor in June‚ Moseneke said the country needed quality education relevant to resolving social inequality.
Moseneke was commenting at the time the country faces protests from university students who are demanding that government should fund higher education.
The Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education‚ headed by Judge Jonathan Heher‚ is also currently at work inquiring into the feasibility of a fee-free higher education and training in South Africa.
“There can be no debate that one of the biggest things that really slow down economic growth and slow down the destruction of poverty is the absence of requisite skills to feed into a growing economy.
“It is a long way of saying we need more and quality education‚ education relevant to resolving what is our biggest single powder keg – social inequality.”
Moseneke said the country should “in a sensible way” search its pockets and try to find the money to fund those who were needy.
He said South Africa was an unequal society and this implied there were some who could afford to pay and others who could not.
“The strategy should be sufficiently nuanced to recognise the fact that amongst all people there are those who actually should pay‚ and there are those who should pay in part and there are those who perhaps should pay nothing.”
Source: Times Live