‘Free education unfair’

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The ANCYL in KwaZulu-Natal has rejected some of the recommendations of the report into free higher education claiming it discriminates against the poor who will be penalised by the scrapping of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) and the means tests.

Welcoming the release of the much-anticipated report, ANCYL KZN spokesperson Kwazi Mshengu said they supported the scrapping of registration and application fees but were concerned about the proposed replacing of NSFAS with bank loans for students wishing to enter higher education.

“We are rejecting the scrapping of the NSFAS. It seeks to empower commercial banks who will be providing the loans with the state acting as collateral. “A loan will benefit the bank but the not the students who will be indebted to them,” Mshengu said.

He said the ANCYL wanted free education for the poor in particular. “Young people must be allowed access to education free of charge. “It is strange to recommend the scraping of both the NSFAS and the means test which basically granted everyone access to education,” Mshengu said.

#FeesMustFall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile questioned the timing of the release of the report. Khanyile, who wrote his final exams in jail last year, said releasing the report during exams was just a tactic by the government to squash the movement.

“We all expected and knew this so there’s nothing new in those recommendations, everyone anticipated this. “The government has no intention of granting free education for all. Free education was never going to be a reality,” Khanyile said.

SIBONGISENI MAPHUMULO Sibongisenim@thenewage.co.za

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