National 10.8.2016 12:19 pm

Recommendations on free education pour in

A Commission of Inquiry into the Feasibility of Free Tertiary Education has been established following last year's education protests. Picture: Pretoria East Rekord

A Commission of Inquiry into the Feasibility of Free Tertiary Education has been established following last year's education protests. Picture: Pretoria East Rekord

The Commission of Inquiry into the Feasibility of Free Tertiary Education began its first round of public hearings today at the Council Chambers (Sammy Marks Square) in Pretoria.

At least 180 written submissions have so far been processed by the Commission of Inquiry into the Feasibility of Free Tertiary Education, reports the Pretoria East Rekord.

The commission was established in January “to inquire into, report on and make recommendations on the feasibility of a fee free higher education and training in South Africa”.

The department of justice said on Monday the commission was continuing to receive dozens of recommendations.

“[These came] from stakeholders in the higher education and training sector. Supplementary submissions are still being received to this day,” the department said in a statement.

Chaired by Justice Jonathan Arthur Heher, the commission was set up by President Jacob Zuma after last year’s fees-must-fall student protests.

The department said the commission had completed studying past and current legislation in both basic and higher education and training in South Africa.

“This includes all policies, legislations, reports and recommendations made by previous presidential and ministerial task teams.”

The commission’s first round of public hearings began today at the Council Chambers (Sammy Marks Square) in Pretoria. It would hear presentations from concerned parties for two days.

On August 12, the hearings would move to Vanderbijlpark – and then to other parts of the country until March next year.

The commission’s brief was to assess the government’s policy framework on higher or post-school education and the types of institutions that provide public and private post-school education and training.

It would also look into the allocation of state funding for tertiary education and training, and what the policy choices are.

The commission must determine whether free tertiary education is feasible in the tough economic conditions the country finds itself in.

The closing date for submissions is May 15 next year.

Caxton News Service

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