National 24.8.2016 12:07 pm

South West Gauteng college shut down by digruntled students

Khanyisile Mthembu, Silindile Nhlapo, Nhlanhla Mabunda and Nelly Ndlovu. PHOTO: Roodepoort Rekord.

Khanyisile Mthembu, Silindile Nhlapo, Nhlanhla Mabunda and Nelly Ndlovu. PHOTO: Roodepoort Rekord.

The students embarked on a strike on Monday.

The South West Gauteng College in Roodeport was shut down by dissatisfied students who voiced out concerned about irregularities at the Horison campus.

The students embarked on the strike on Monday.

According to the college, the students are still striking and activities have not returned to normal yet, Roodepoort Record reported.

A student who wants to remain anonymous said: “The students are unhappy about the primary health and educare courses not being registered or recognised by universities. We cannot study for three years for nothing.”

Some of the other concerns voiced by the students are the fact that bursaries and transport monies are not being paid to deserving students.

It was also alleged that there is a blind student travelling to the campus by train who has not received any money. According to them, this is against the college’s policy for disabled persons.

Another burning issue is the resource centre. They claim they cannot finish their assignments because the centre is always closed.

“We are expected to finish our assignments on time, but we do not have access to the resource centre.

“We have to visit an internet cafe and pay out of our own pockets,” said Ashley Mazibuko.

The cleaning staff also joined the protest action because they are unhappy about their salaries, contracts and the fact that they do not have any benefits.

Acting campus manager Clayton Marais was contacted for comment. He advised the Record to contact the principal of the South West Gauteng College, Dan Nkosi.

Nkosi was duly informed of the students’ concerns. According to him, the original reason for the protest, which started at the Dobsonville campus, was to show solidarity with the university shutdowns.

“However, the reasons for this action have been changing, with some labour relations issues being thrown in,” he said.

He denied the allegations about courses offered by the college not being approved, and said it would be against the law for them to do so.

“There is no problem with the Educare course whatsoever. The primary health problem is because of a misunderstanding between the department of higher education and training and the department of health.

All students doing this course were informed about the issue, which is now being exploited by people who want to stop education for their own selfish political interests,” Nkosi said.

The college is working on the issue with the department of health.

Nkosi reiterated that many graduates of the primary health programme have been admitted to nursing studies by universities, and he is confident this will continue to be the case.

He said bursaries were awarded to students who qualified for them based on a means test, and the college was one of the top performers in terms of payments. He confirmed that disabled students did qualify for these bursaries and said he would follow up on the specific blind student at the Horison campus.

“I will also follow up on the resource centre story. According to my information it should be open,” Nkosi said.

The college is awaiting directives on in- and outsourcing regarding the cleaners, as they are not directly employed by the college.

“We are, however, taking the situation very seriously with a view to resolving it. The students cannot afford a disruption at this critical time,” said Nkosi.

– Caxton News Service


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