South African Students Fight for Free Education

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On Sunday, South African students pledge to continue their struggle for education reform, free education.

Mostly all the protest has ceased after President Jacob Zuma announced on Friday that there will be a zero percent increase for tuition fees for 2016 school year. However, there have been a few protests here and there still going strong in a few universities since the announcement.

The South African students want free high-quality education to be offered and want to get rid of institutionalized racism. University of North West students says they do not want Afrikaans and to be imposed on the students attending.

This nationwide protest has been going on for two weeks under their slogan “Fees Must Fall”, which is triggered by university plans to raise tuition fees for 2015, from 10 to 50 percent.  These protests have been tainted with violence in numerous parts of the country, mostly on Friday when thousands of students met outside the Union Buildings.

Police had to tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber bullets to break up the students trying to overtake the Union Buildings. Even seven students were arrested.

Emerging from a meeting with university vice-chancellors and leaders of the students, Zuma announced that there would be a zero percent fee increase next year.

Despite Zuma announcing that there would be a zero percent increase next year, many students still refused to return to class until their ultimatum was met. The African National Congress (ANC) is backing the students up for free education. The African National Congress believes that there should be free education because it is not really a cost, but an investment into the younger generation’s future. The students will one day lead the country.

ANC actually promised free education. In 2007, the congress made a decision to have free education within the next seven years. Sadly, ANC has been criticized for not keeping up to their promise. Even though ANC is deeply sorry, but they currently do not have the resources quite yet to satisfy their demands.

However, ANC is still working towards one day having free education. Until then, students will have to wait a while longer before they will be able to receive free high-quality education.


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