The government’s efforts to end the ongoing crisis at tertiary institutions as a result of protracted student protests is set to run aground as some students distance themselves from a government-initiated presidential imbizo meant to address the problem.
The Pan Africanist Congress student wing, the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (Pasma) has refused to participate in the Presidential Imbizo.
The PAC announced today that the student body had reported to the mother body that they wouldn’t take part.
“We respect the decision that was taken by our student wing because they have a mandate from poor students. We have also been critical of the current Fees Commission, which has not produced any positive contribution; it is indeed a toothless dog,” PAC national spokesperson Kenneth Mokgatlhe said today.
Mokgatlhe said the student umbrella body, the South African Union of Students does not represent the views of the students but those of certain political organisations.
“The PAC made the call for free, quality and obligatory education, which should take effect from cradle to the grave. This position was made by the PAC in its inception in the 1959. The call for free education is a progressive call which should be realised today and not tomorrow,” he said.
About the protests at universities, Mokgatlhe said the abolition of fees as proposed by students must be understood as a significant step towards free education and that other important things should follow in the entire education system.
“There has to be a total transformation of the entire educational system from crèche to tertiary level. The African child will still face an obstacle to access the tertiary institutions because those in control will use academic qualification as a criteria for entrance to obstruct access,” Mokgatlhe said.
He called for an educational system that reflected and was propose by the African people.